More Chickpeas, Please
How is it that this one delectable bean can have many common names? Garbanzo beans to the Spanish, ceci (“chee chee”) to the Italians, hummus in Arabic/Greek, and good ol’ chickpeas to the rest of us Americans; these beige-colored beans just might be my favorite of all legumes.
I consider chickpeas to be in the same “food category” as chicken—they are a healthy and satisfying protein with a pleasant, mild flavor that can be used as the primary building block for a great number of diverse and delicious recipes.
Here are the top three ways my family and I enjoy garbanzo beans, or ceci, rather, hummus, I mean chickpeas!
Oven Roasted Snack: Drain, rinse, and let dry a full can of beans. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix chickpeas with ample EVOO, salt and a seasoning of your choice. I use New Mexican Green Chili Powder and salt, another option is chili and cumin powder, or straight up S&P. Roast for a total of 37 minutes (yes, 40 minutes is too long and 35 too short!). Shake pan after first 20 minutes and again at 30 minutes to ensure even browning. Cool a bit and crunch away!
Greek Opa! Style: Drain and rinse beans, toss them with diced sweet red peppers, pitted Kalamata olives, sliced scallions, chopped dill, crumbled feta cheeses and toss in a dressing* made of red wine vinegar, EVOO, oregano, S&P to taste. Or, make it Mexican Ole! Style by adding cubed avocado, cilantro (rather than dill), sliced black olives (not Kalamata), tossing it in a dressing* made of fresh lime juice, EVOO, S&P.
Italian Three Bean Salad: Drain and rinse on can each of chickpeas, black and white (small Northern) beans. Toss in a dressing* made of aged balsamic vinegar, EVOO, one clove of minced garlic and S & P (allow this dressing to sit a ½ hour or so before using to infuse the garlic flavor throughout).
*Dressing ratios: For my homemade dressings I use 1/3 to nearly 1/2 acid (vinegar, citrus juice) to 2/3 to 1/2 EVOO.