Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets. Separate the onion slices into rings and set aside. Pour milk into a medium-sized bowl. Slowly stir in the chickpea flour using a fork or whisk until there are no lumps. In a small bowl, combine nuts, bread crumbs, spice blend, and sugar (if using) and mix well. Spread about a cup of the nut mixture in a shallow dish (a pie plate works well).
Dip the onion rings one at a time into the chickpea batter and remove using a fork or tongs. Dredge the rings in the nut mixture to coat each side and arrange them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. Using tongs or a fork, turn each ring over and bake for another 4 to 6 minutes, until lightly brown and crispy. Sprinkle with salt while rings are still on the baking sheets.
Remove rings to a cooling rack or paper towel–lined plate. Scrape any crumbs from the baking sheet and re-oil if needed. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all of the rings have been coated and baked. Let cool before eating.
YOU’VE GOT OPTIONS
Don’t like onions? Try red, green, or orange bell pepper slices instead. Delicious!
A spice idea! Instead of garam masala spice blend, use 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika or 2 tablespoons of a combo of chopped fresh or dried herbs (like oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, or sage). Or, if you’re a hothead, add 2 teaspoons of hot mustard powder or horseradish to the milk mixture.
Nut-free? Swap them for the same amount of oatmeal, sesame seeds, or cornmeal for crunch.
Of course, ketchup is great with these, but why not try a Try it! recipe: Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Makes about 40 onion rings
1 large onion, cut crosswise into 1 ⁄ 2-inch slices
1 ⁄ 2 cup nondairy milk or water
1 ⁄ 2 cup chickpea flour or all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped almonds or walnuts
2 cups fine bread crumbs (panko works best)
3 tablespoons Garam Masala Spice Blend, Try it! recipe or store-bought
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon kosher salt or coarsely ground sea salt, or to taste
From “The Reducetarian Cookbook: 125 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Omnivores, Vegans, and Everyone In-Between” by Reducetarian Foundation (Center Street, $21.99). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.