Dinner parties deserve snacks, too. And while dips and chips and veggie spreads are all fine and good, there's something quite wonderful about spicy roasted chickpeas.
We had a housewarming party this past weekend and made these roasted chickpeas to set out on the table right when folks arrived. They were such a hit that I barely got to sneak a small spoonful before they were gone. The reason? These chickpeas have that perfect combination of spice, salt, herbs, and a healthy splash of good olive oil. They satisfy like no other snack and they'll tide your guests over with their little punch of protein. If for some reason you have leftovers after your gathering, they're wonderful on top of soups or salads.
There are many, many ways to do roasted chickpeas at home. You can start with dried beans and soak them overnight or use canned beans, which I did here. For canned beans, you just want to make sure you rinse them really well and, even more importantly, dry them really well. If they're not completely dry, they won't crisp up as nicely in the oven. I used a salad spinner to spin out all the moisture in my chickpeas before beginning.
As for spicing them, I used a combination of curry powder, cumin and paprika but you could play around with almost any flavor profile you want here. If you wanted to do more of an Italian version, you could use dried oregano and basil. For a sweeter note, you could experiment with cinnamon and a dash of clove.
While the opportunities to experiment seem endless, the one thing I wouldn't mess with is the amount of olive oil or salt—those are landmarks that help this recipe work and taste delicious.
Roasted Curried Chickpeas with Rosemary and Thyme
Makes about 3 1/2 cups
(15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried well
freshly-grated lemon zest
fresh rosemary, chopped
fresh thyme, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Pour well-dried chickpeas onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and use a spatula to loosen up any chickpeas that are sticking to the bottom of the pan. Roast for another 10 minutes, or until chickpeas begin to crisp up. To test for readiness: don't rely on a change of color. When the chickpeas turn brown they've become burned. Instead, check with the press of a finger: you want them to be slightly crisp on the outside but still soft on the inside.
While the chickpeas are roasting, combine the olive oil, paprika, cumin, curry powder, salt, lemon zest, rosemary and thyme in a medium mixing bowl. Transfer the roasted chickpeas to the bowl and carefully toss them in the mixture until well coated. Return to the baking sheet and roast another 4-5 minutes. Once out of the oven, allow them to cool for 2-3 minutes; serve warm.
(Image: Megan Gordon)