Roasted Chickpeas

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell

 Hummus who? Roasted chickpeas are the new “nut.”

Some food trends startle me. Growing up in the 70s in cities without Mexican restaurants–Rochester, NY, and Richmond, VA,  I was unprepared for the salsa uprising that eventually upstaged all-American ketchup. I also confidently and so wrongly predicted that sushi in the grocery store would bomb. Who would ever buy  a plastic tray of California rolls to eat at home, I thought. I do, and often for my very sophisticated sushi-loving teenagers.

I also never predicted the current hummus craze, even though back in my college days, we often made the hummus recipe in my roommate’s Moosewood cookbook. Now, in the last 15 years,  prepared hummus and it’s many crazy flavor variations, has gone from a $5 mil business to a $325 mil dollar business. That’s a lot of garbanzos.

So we’ve all gone pureed chick pea crazy.  Do you have any garbanzo beans in your cupboard?  You should for homemade hummus, and, even better for whole Roasted Chick Pea Nuts. They’re a nutritious, hearty “nut” great for snacking, packing in lunches, and perfect with cocktails. You can flavor them anyway you like and make small batches in the toaster oven.  They are definitely chic peas and the perfect complementary appetizer to the New Artichoke Dip.

Roasted Chickpeas 

Canned or cooked dried chick peas, rinsed and drained

Olive oil

Coarse salt

Your choice of seasonings, optional, such as ground cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, Indian seasoning packet, or dried Italian seasonings Heat the oven to 350F. Lay the peas out on a paper towel covered baking sheet. Roll them around to dry them off. Remove the paper towels. Lightly drizzle the peas with olive oil.  Roll them around to coat well. Sprinkle to  taste with salt and/or seasonings. Bake about 45 minutes to an hour depending on how crunchy you like them. They’ll look lightly browned and dry. Cool. Makes as much as you want.

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