I’ve been having a blast this week, planning my Superbowl party menu. Granted, I’m so not having a Superbowl party that I’m not even sure who’s playing, but the concept piques my imagination. I don’t let small details like reality stop me from devising hip spreads.
At last count, I’m going with a spicy vegan chili and a black bean and corn salsa with homemade tortilla chips. It goes without saying that there will be good beer, cookies for dessert, and plenty of crunchy, spicy, fresh-roasted chickpeas for everyone to scarf by the fistful, just like I’m doing right now. For inspiration.
Roasted chickpeas are essential to the success of my fictitious party on a few levels. They’re so high in fiber, protein and B-vitamins they’ll give the beer a run for its money in terms of helping people feel good, but beyond that, they’re interesting. In 38 years of going to the occasional party, I’ve never seen spicy roasted chickpeas on a spread. And revelers are missing out, because few snacks are more gleefully addicting. I can’t decide if it’s the roasty-spicy-nutty flavor or the exquisite crispy crunch that compels me devour these like they’re dusted in crack, so it must be both.
There are also some practical considerations. One, they’re easy to make, always a plus for the real or imaginary hostess on the go. Two, they’re a scandalous bargain. Chickpeas are cheap, but when you spice and roast them they taste like a sir.
So what are we waiting for?! Let’s get in there and roast some chickpeas!
We need some cooked chickpeas, a little olive oil, spices and seasonings, a baking sheet and some foil. It’s better to soak and cook dried chickpeas (here’s a good resource on that), but canned work if you rinse them ridiculously well. This is about 2 cups of beans here, just a little more than you’d get in a can. I’d say stick with 2-4 cups of beans per baking sheet. Also, heat the oven to 400°.
Gently pat them between paper towels to make sure they’re good and dry. This enhances crispitude.
Line a baking sheet with foil, rub it with a tiny bit of oil for good measure, and put the beans on there. Pop them into the oven for 30-40 minutes. Stir them around with a spatula about midway through.
Here’s where it gets fun: get the beans out of the oven and into a bowl. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil about a tablespoon and 2-3 teaspoons of whatever spices and seasonings you fancy per 2 cups of beans and stir ’em up. This time I used a tablespoon of Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning as my main flavor and a teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder. I think I also threw a pinch of Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy in there.
That’s one of the many lovely things about roasting chickpeas. You can pretty much wing the seasonings, and as long as you like the flavors you’re using you’re set. Put on your creative pants and have fun. Also, there’s no reason for this picture except I think chickpeas look cool with spices stuck all over them.
The beans are seasoned, so put them back on the baking sheet and pop them into the oven for another 10 minutes. Then take them out. That’s it! We just roasted chickpeas. Holy easy!
Some chickpeas will randomly get more roasty than others. From what I’ve read that wigs some people out, but I think those ones have a nice char-grilled flavor and generally enhance the whole scene.
So if you’re having a real party, roast some chickpeas, and if you just like thinking about parties, roast some chickpeas. They’ll open up a whole new world of snack deliciousness. Let me know how yours came out and what flavors you tried!