“IN THE STREETS AND FRY SHOPS of Palermo you will find panelle, patties made of chickpea flour and parsley that are deep-fried, salted, and served on a roll, often with a squeeze of lemon.” That’s Kevin Sandri from the Garden State truck on the origins of his outrageously good sandwich. In his recipe here, he has leveraged that Palermo inspiration to create a vegetarian sandwich.
Don’t leave much time between the frying of the patty and the consumption of your sandwich. Like most fried food, it’s best when eaten hot.
MAKES 6 SANDWICHES
FOR THE CHICKPEA PATTIES
11/8 cups chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Olive oil, for brushing the baking sheets
FOR THE CARROT-RADISH SLAW
1½ cups grated carrots
3 radishes, trimmed and sliced
1½ teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH
2 delicata squash (about 1½ pounds total)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SANDWICHES
6 ciabatta rolls
Olive oil, for brushing the rolls
2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
Lemon Aioli (recipe follows)
2 cups mixed salad greens Salt
Make the chickpea patty mixture: Place the chickpea flour, salt, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne in a heavy pot over high heat and stir to mix. Gradually add 2 cups of water while stirring with a flat-edged wooden spatula. You want to avoid lots of lumps of flour but a few are okay. Stirring constantly, gradually lower the heat as the chickpea mixture thickens. When most of the water has been absorbed, add the parsley. The chickpea mixture is done once it pulls away from the side and bottom of the pot as you stir it, 10 to 15 minutes.
Lightly oil a baking sheet. Transfer the chickpea patty mixture to the pan, spreading it out evenly so that it covers the pan completely. Oil the bottom of a second sheet. Place this pan on top of the chickpea mixture and press on it firmly to create a smooth, even surface. Remove the top pan. Let the chickpea patty mixture cool completely.
Make the carrot-radish slaw: Place the carrots, radishes, rice wine vinegar, and olive oil in a bowl and toss to mix. Season the slaw with salt and black pepper to taste. Cover the slaw and set it aside. The slaw should be served at room temperature.
Prepare the delicata squash: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut each squash in half lengthwise and remove and discard the seeds. If the skins of the squash are tough, peel them (when delicata squash first come into season, you can eat the skin). Cut the squash crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and black pepper. Bake the squash until it is easily pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. Keep the squash warm.
Preheat the broiler.
To assemble the sandwiches: Using a knife, split the ciabatta rolls lengthwise, stopping just short of cutting all the way through. Lightly brush the insides of the rolls with olive oil and toast them, opened up like a book, under the broiler.
Cut the chickpea patty mixture into 12 pieces. Heat the 2 quarts of vegetable oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven until a deep fry thermometer attached to the side of the pot registers 350°F. Working in batches and being careful not to crowd the pot, carefully add the chickpea patties to the hot oil and cook them until they are crisp and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked patties to paper towels to drain.
Spread some aioli on the inside of each toasted roll, then add some salad greens to each side. Add some of the carrot-radish slaw, then place 3 or 4 slices of squash on top. Lightly salt the chickpea patties. Place 2 patties on top of the squash in each roll and close up the sandwiches.