Did you know that 2016 is the International Year of Pulses? I am trying to incorporate a lot more pulses – including delicious, good-for-you lentils, dried beans and chickpeas – into my cooking this year. Like other pulses, chickpeas are nutritional powerhouses. They’re an excellent protein source that’s low in saturated fat, very low in cholesterol and a good source of dietary fiber, zinc and folate. They have a bit of a nutty flavour that is wonderfully enhanced by roasting.
I remember the first time I tasted roasted chickpeas, many, many years ago. They were in a foil packet, purchased at an ethnic grocery store in Toronto. I eagerly ripped the bag open, popped a few in my mouth, expecting deliciousness. Instead, it was more like yuck – nothing at all like the yummy treat I had expected. In hindsight, I should have checked the expiry date on the bag as I suspect they were stale and/or rancid. Determined to find a way to like roasted chickpeas, I made a batch at home. What a difference! Light, crispy and full of flavour, these protein packed snacks are great on their own or as a garnish for soups or salads. Play around with other spices if you like – a few shakes of chili powder or smoked paprika, for example. You can use dried chickpeas, which you’ll need to soak and cook, but for this recipe, the canned ones are just as good plus a whole lot faster and easier.
- 1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed well
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground pepper
- Pour the vinegar into a medium-sized saucepan. Cover pot with a lid and place on high heat. As soon as the vinegar is boiling, add the rinsed chickpeas to the pot and remove from heat.
- Let stand 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Drain chickpeas, discarding vinegar. Pour chickpeas out onto a clean dish towel and roll them around gently to dry thoroughly.
- Put chickpeas in a clean bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss gently to coat evenly.
- Spread chickpeas out onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast in oven for 40 – 45 minutes, jiggling the baking sheet occasionally.
- The chickpeas will turn a dark golden brown and get crunchy. If you take them out of the oven too soon, you can always put them back in the oven for a few more minutes later.
- Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container for several days.
Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups.