Cheesy Chickpea Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze

Can I share with you what I had for lunch today? Because it is brilliant.

Do you ever have those moments where you are suddenly savagely hungry, and no matter how much food there is in the pantry or no matter how many yummy meals you can think of making, all you really want to do is eat a can of beans with a spoon? Well that's what I did yesterday.

Or maybe I just ate crackers. Do you really expect me to remember? I know you can tell by now that I am, like, super healthy. But I know I'm not the only one who eats a can of beans or crackers or spoonfuls of peanut butter or 5 cookies and calls it a meal. We all have those days. Well, my friends, today was not one of those days for me. No, I took just about everything I was going to eat by the spoonful with the fridge door open and loaded it up on 2 pieces of toast. I'm fancy.

Cheesy Chickpea Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze, makes 3-4  large toasts:

1/2 a can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup spinach, finely chopped 
1/2 a tomato
a few spoonfuls jarred sliced pepperoncinis, chopped smaller
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I actually used a little less)
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/8 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic
1/8 teaspoon italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar

3-4 thick slices of bread, I used the spinach and ricotta loaf from Alpicella Bakery we got at the Market.

Once your beans are rinsed and drained, put them in a medium size bowl and mash them up a bit using a fork or a potato masher. Add in the sliced onion, tomato, pepporoncinis and spinach. Stir to combine. Mix in the cheeses and mayonnaise, stirring thoroughly, and mash a bit more as needed. Add in the garlic and italian seasoning. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

For the balsamic glaze (balsamic reduction), pour 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let simmer to reduce in 1/2, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Once reduced by half, take of heat and let cool, continue to stir occasionally as it cools.

While the balsamic reduction cools, slice up your bread and toast one side under the broiler on low. Toasting the other side of the bread, the side that the topping will not be on, will keep the bruschetta from getting soggy. Once golden brown, remove from oven and flip over, layer the non-toasted side with the chickpea mixture. Put back under the low broil until golden and bubbly, anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on your oven and toast preference. Be careful not to burn.

To serve, drizzle with the cooled balsamic glaze. Best eaten immediately.

I have discovered that I can pretty much put whatever I want on bread and call it bruschetta, and then further call it a meal. Someone come stop me.