Yesterday I was invited to celebrate a milestone birthday with a friend and colleague. The gathering took place in one of Salt Lake’s expansive city parks and included longtime friends from the city’s diverse healing community.
The gathering was a mid-afternoon snack potluck. My immediate impulse was to contribute hummus, perhaps using some unexpected bean—cannellini or butter beans—as a base. (If you haven’t tried this, it’s worth doing for the change in taste and texture.) But hummus has become a staple at potlucks. Surely someone else would bring it.
I looked through my favorite cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison, and decided on a protein-rich snack I’d never tried before, one I was pretty certain no one else would bring: Roasted Chickpeas with Spice and Smoke.
While roasting is not always the best option when the temperature is in the 90s, I decided to try this anyway, using my much-loved counter-top convection oven. It radiates very little heat into my kitchen and is very efficient to boot.
The results were wonderful. For not a whole lot of time and effort, this appetizer is a grain-free option that fulfills the desire for something crunchy and spicy. Although I found this combination of spices to be perfect for me, you can always try other options. Madison suggests garam masala for an Indian-flavored snack.
Meatless Monday: Roasted Chickpeas with Spice and Smoke
- 1-1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 15-oz can)
- 1/2 t toasted, ground coriander
- 1/2 t toasted, ground cumin seeds
- 1/4 t smoked paprika
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 1 T olive oil
- Smoked salt, as needed
- Several pinches of grated lime zest
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place them on a towel to dry and blot out the extra moisture. This step is important because the chickpeas need to be dry to begin with in order to end up crunchy and not mushy.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. If you’re using a counter-top oven, this will take less time, so you may need to wait a bit so that you can make sure the chickpeas are dry enough when you put them into the oven.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. When the chickpeas feel mostly dry to the touch, place them on the baking sheet and into the oven. Roast for 45 minutes, shaking the pan every 15 minutes or so.
- While the chickpeas are roasting, mix the coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and olive oil in a bowl. I roasted whole cumin and coriander seeds in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes and then ground them in a coffee grinder that I use specifically for spices. (If you use your spice grinder for coffee, all your spices will taste like coffee!) Alternately, you can use a mortar and pestle to grind the seeds.
- After 45 minutes, remove the chickpeas and place them in the bowl of spices and oil. Toss to coat. Return to the oven for a few minutes more.
- Remove from the oven and toss with the lime zest. Add smoked salt if you like.
- Cool before eating and store in an airtight container.
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