Chickpea and Bacon Cakes, with leeks, potatoes and a deliciously cheesy sauce

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As there were leeks and bacon left over from my previous post I grabbed a can of organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and made these rustic little Chickpea and Bacon Cakes. I ate them with slow-cooked Savoy cabbage, sautéed mushrooms and a very delicious cheese sauce. The latter was so good, and so easy to make, I’m going to post it separately. This might not be a summery lunch, especially as we’re having Med-type weather. Okay, their June weather as it’s only 29°C (84.20°F) outside. Still, I’ve lived by the coast for three years and it has never been this hot, with a wonderful breeze. Just perfect for a couple of days.

Chickpea and Bacon Cakes


  • rapeseed or olive oil
  • 300g (10.58 oz) x leeks, white and green parts, topped and tailed, cut into halves, each half sliced lengthways in half, then half again, then sliced crossways into small pieces, thoroughly rinsed
  • 3 x garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 80g (2.82 oz) x bacon
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x new potatoes, scrubbed, chopped into uniform size and boiled in salted water until cooked, mashed
  • 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to personal taste
  • seasoning, about 4 grinds of both sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 x 410g or 246g drained weight (14.46 or 8.67 oz drained) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), well rinsed

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • As I cook the leeks separately I add them to a heavy-based saucepan with a lid, pour in a little oil and put on electric heat No 2 (out of 6). After about 10 or 15 minutes I remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring through occasionally, until they start to caramelise a little.
  • As cooking bacon are off-cuts that are sold quite cheap here they’re perfect for this type of dish. I grabbed a pack with 3 thick steaks and  used 2 of them for this. I put them in a large heavy-based saucepan with a little oil on heat No 3 for at least 10 minutes each side. As quite a lot of white foam is normally released I grab the steaks and rinse them under cold running water to remove all of the white stuff. Then I grab lots of kitchen paper and mop up all of the grease and discard that. Rinse out the pan, put back on heat with a little more oil and continue to cook the steaks until nicely golden on both sides. Then I take them off heat and allow them to cool before removing all of the fat which is discarded, then chop or pull the meat into small pieces.
  • If using normal bacon pan-fry until nicely golden on both sides. Allow to cool, then break into very small pieces.
  • Boil the potatoes until cooked (I keep the skins on but cut out any knobbly bits), drain, let them dry off and mash them dry – no milk or butter added as the mixture would be too wet.
  • Put a large heavy-based pan on heat No 2 for the chickpeas. It’s not absolutely necessary to do this, yet I prefer the flavour of the chickpeas if pan-fried for around 10 minutes. Stir through occasionally until they take on a little colour. Take off heat and crush/mince the garlic into this pan. Stir through and allow to settle so the rawness of the garlic is cooked out. Sprinkle over the cayenne.
  • Add the chickpeas to a large suitable bowl and mash roughly into smallish chunks. Add all other ingredients, season with salt and pepper, stir thoroughly, then shape the mixture into small cakes with wet hands.
  • Put a large heavy-based frying pan/skillet on heat No 3 or 4. Get the pan hot before adding the oil. Once pan is hot enough pour in a little oil and carefully add the cakes. Add more oil if necessary, especially before turning them over. About 5 minutes each side should have them piping hot in their centres.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


  1. I love the idea of chickpea cake – it must have a wonderful texture and it sounds so versatile. [On an annoying note: I unfollowed and followed but I still don’t get new post updates!]


    • It is versatile. Not sure what else I’d add to them, though.
      You know, I’m not getting email from recent blogs I’ve followed. I did click subscribe/follow on your illustration blog last night to see if that’ll help. I’ve also just added the same to this blog. Who knows if it’ll work. I’m also using the dashboard, reader to keep up with blogs I follow.


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