3.08.2009

yes we can

Brace yourselves, folks. I never thought I would speak these words: The best thing I ate this week came from a can. There. I said it.

roasted chickpeas

Last Sunday, my sister, Kasey, came over for dinner and a movie. In a stunning reversal of my usual modus operandi, I had movies galore selected for possible viewing, but not the slightest idea as to what we might eat. When Kasey arrived, I mumbled something about pasta, or maybe bok choy, and wandered into the kitchen. Then, I spotted it, a can of chickpeas on the top shelf. Before I knew it, the oven was hot, the chickpeas were drained, and the olive oil was flowing. I threw caution to the wind and cumin into the mixing bowl. One baking pan, a few grinds of salt, and forty-five minutes later, I found myself biting into the most delicious chickpeas I had ever tasted. Ever. And I'm not one to throw around superlatives. Okay, so there was that two-year stint in the fifth and sixth grades, when I took to reading the thesaurus and overstuffing my poetry with cringe-worthy phrases like "interminably vast blue sky" and "most elegant flutter of a new spring leaf." But those days are long gone, I swear.

Now, I know I'm not the first person on the planet to roast chickpeas, just like I'm not the first person ever to fall in love or to see a shooting star. But that doesn't make my own personal first time any less soul-stirring. If you've never roasted a chickpea, open up a can and see for yourselves. Don't let that tin-coated steel fool you. There are chickpeas in there, folks, just waiting to be roasted to crispy-crunchy-on-the-outside, velvety-smooth-on-the-inside perfection. Grab a can opener, a strainer, and get cooking. And make haste, dear ones, lest I send fifth-grade Jess after you with a thesaurus full of superlatives. I would hate to ruin your appetite on chickpea roasting day.

roasted chickpeas with lemon

Roasted Chickpeas with Cumin

1 15-oz. can of chickpeas (I prefer to use an organic, no-salt added brand, like Eden.)
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 T. cumin
5-6 generous grinds of sea salt
A few dashes of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 T. of chopped fresh parsley
Half a lemon, or one small lime

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Drain the chickpeas, and toss them with 1 T. olive oil, the cumin, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Spill out onto a baking sheet and shake into a single layer. Roast for approximately 35-45 minutes, until the outsides of the chickpeas are crunchy and golden. About every 15 minutes, stir the chickpeas around a little.

Remove the baking pan from the oven, and slide the chickpeas into a serving bowl. Add the remaining 1 T. olive oil, juice from half a lemon or one small lime, and taste. Add a bit more salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, and/or citrus if your tongue deems it necessary. Stir in the parsley. Serve immediately. (We ate our roasted chickpeas with wild rice and sauteed Swiss chard. The second time around, I topped them with a dollop of Greek yogurt. I highly recommend it.)

Serves 2.

21 comments:

kasey said...

I've been waiting patiently for this post to go up so that I could comment on these chickpeas. The chickpeas that were so good that I couldn't wait more than 24 hours to make them again and share them with friends. Deeeeeelicious.

Pam said...

They really are an amazing snack, and I always burn myself trying to eat them as soon as they come out of the oven.

Erin said...

I've actually never roasted chickpeas. These sound like a fabulous savory treat though! I'll have to give it a try. Cumin and chili powder seem like very appropriate spices for weather like we're having today.

Sara said...

I just discovered these chickpeas a few weeks ago, they really are amazing!

Jess said...

Kase- So sorry to keep you waiting, my dear.

Pam - I know! I burned a finger or two myself when I first removed the pan from the oven. You know what? It was worth it.

Erin - Hi there! I hope you'll give them a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Sara - Indeed. Where have they been all my life?

Lynnylu said...

I love chickpeas so will definitely give this recipe a try. The pottery bowl you have the chickpeas in is beautiful, perfect vessel for your cumin roasted chickpeas.

Jess said...

Hi, Lynnylu. It's nice to meet you. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your pottery praise. I used a technique called soda firing to get that interesting finish. By the way, the photographs on your site are beautiful.

jd said...

I, too, spent a few years thoroughly captivated by my Thesaurus as little kid, so I definitely feel you re: the superlative-overload issue. However, these chickpeas look/sound so fantastic that it's pretty clear they deserve the "best ever" title!

I can't wait to try them...

...*drool*

PS If you're interested, there's a great recipe on my site involving roasted chickpeas (called Crunchy Blue Corn Chickpea Tacos). I'd add a link, but I don't wanna be presumptuous...

Jess said...

Hi, jd. How nice to meet a fellow thesaurus-lover. I bet we could compare some pretty scary poetry from our respective childhoods... Thanks very much for your comment. I had a look at your beautiful site, and that chickpea taco recipe looks delicious, indeed!

Anonymous said...

I made this recipe tonight and also served it with rice and sauteed Swiss chard - it was fabulous!! This is definitely a keeper! Jessica I need you to write about more easy dinner ideas.

Aviva

Jess said...

Hi, Aviva! I'm so happy to hear that the chickpeas were a success. It just so happens that most of my dinners are pretty simple, so hopefully I'll be able to meet your demand.

Elishag said...

I also just made these tonight and Sam and I both loved them- we gobbled them up. I served them as a side to fish with rice. Delish!

Natalie said...

I was searching for a quick and healthy dinner tonight with ingredients I already have. I made some rice last night and I have a can of chickpeas!

Thanks for sharing.

Jess said...

Glad I could help, Natalie. Thanks a lot for dropping by, and for leaving a note. I hope you enjoy your dinner!

Manger La Ville said...

This looks amazing. I can't wait to try it.

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

Sounds fantastic. Love crunchy chickpeas. I'll make it.

Jess said...

Hi, Manger La Ville and Nurit. So glad you'll be giving this recipe a try. I hope you like it!

Mrs Ergül said...

Hi Jess! I have bookmarked this recipe and now it is the time to put it on the dinner table. Do you think it will go well as a side to roast chicken and beef meatballs? We're having company tomorrow!

Jess said...

Mrs. Ergül, please forgive me! I was traveling and away from my computer over the last few days, and now I fear I have let you down. Here's a much belated answer to your question: I typically serve these little beans as a vegetarian main course over rice, with a side of greens. But yes, I think they would be splendid alongside a main event of roast chicken or meatballs. One thing is for sure - no one will leave your table hungry! If you have a moment, please do let me know how you and your guests enjoyed the meal.

Kasey said...

This sounds fantastic! Though, I'm a huge fan of using dried beans--the flavor is just so vibrant! Beautiful blog (and I love that your sister also spells her name with a K :))

Jess said...

Thanks, Kasey, for your kind words. It's a pleasure to meet you. Yes, I'm with you - dried beans would no doubt kick this recipe up a notch. On behalf of my sister: it's nice to know that someone else out there spells Kasey the right way. :)