How to turn beans and toast into an elegant app

Chick Pea Toasts with Olive Oil.
Chick Pea Toasts with Olive Oil.

This recipe is the food equivalent of the little black dress. It has a simple elegance that’s both classic and modern, and it suits perfectly as a daytime mainstay or for evening cocktails.

It couldn’t be easier to pull together. Just drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, then mash them coarsely with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a couple of tablespoons of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread that generously over slices of crusty whole-grain bread that’s been brushed with oil and toasted to a golden crunch; then shower with a fresh green sprinkle of chopped parsley; scatter capers on top for bursts of salty interest; and finish with a luxurious additional drizzle of olive oil.

The toasts make for a satisfying lunch or light dinner alongside a salad or soup, and they will give you the energy boost you need in an afternoon snack. If you use small slices of bread and double the number of them (or cut larger pieces in half), they make a compelling finger food to serve at a cocktail party. They come in especially handy for drop-in guests, as I learned recently when a friend unexpectedly came by for drinks and brought an appetite. I whipped up these toasts in no time, with ingredients I usually have on hand: a can of beans in the pantry, sliced bread in the freezer, a jar of capers and a lemon in the refrigerator.

My friend couldn’t stop raving about them. Like that effortless wardrobe staple, this recipe is destined to be an all-occasion go-to.

Krieger blogs and offers a weekly newsletter at

Mashed Chickpea Toasts With Parsley and Capers

These toasts are made with simple ingredients you likely have on hand, yet they have a certain elegance that makes them as perfect for a cocktail party as they are for a satisfying everyday snack or light meal along with a soup or salad. They couldn’t be easier to pull together.

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

One 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

4 large 1/2-inch-thick slices crusty whole-grain bread (about 1 ounce each)

4 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons capers, drained

Combine the chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; use a potato masher to coarsely mash the mixture.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to brush one side of each slice of bread. Place them on a baking sheet, oiled sides up; toast in the oven for about 9 minutes, or just until crisp and browned on the edges.

Divide the toasted bread among individual plates. Spread each with a quarter of the mashed chickpea mixture, then top each with a teaspoon of the parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of the capers. Use the remaining oil to drizzle each portion; sprinkle with more pepper, as needed.

Per serving: 290 calories, 9 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar

Yield: 4 servings