More Chickpeas, Please

ChickpeasMore 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.


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