Smashed Chickpea Toast with Pickled Fennel

Makes 4 servings

The chickpea portion of this dish is simple, but it’s made perfect by the quick-pickled fennel. If you aren’t a huge fennel fan, these pickles may surprise you, but you can certainly replace it with radishes, onions, or even sauerkraut.


Pickled Fennel

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red chile, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 slices crusty bread, like sourdough or rye bread, lightly toasted
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. In a small pot, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and salt has fully dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. In a jar or glass bowl, combine the fennel, chile, garlic, and bay leaf. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables until they are fully submerged (you may not use it all). Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  3. For the toasts, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until just beginning to brown around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook, using the back of the spoon to lightly mash the beans, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
  4. Rub the garlic clove across the surface of each slice of bread. Top with tahini (about 1 1/2 teaspoons per slice) and spread to the edges. Divide the chickpea mixture among each slice of bread, and then top with pickled fennel. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

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