I’ve already professed my undying love for favas and cannellini beans, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a hummus I didn’t like. But plain old garbanzos? They’re okay, I guess. A bit chalky and mushy to my taste, and certainly not high up on the list.
But roasted in the oven until crispy-crunchy, with spices and salt and a little heat? Oh, baby. Those chickpeas are for people who take their snacking seriously. A roast in the oven turns the humble garbanzo into a nutty, toasty, shatteringly crunchy, wickedly addictive treat. Thankfully they’re good for you, too, with all that fiber and protein and iron and folate.
And that’s pretty hard to say about your typical half-time snack, no? Because if there isn’t seven layer dip and a bag of cheez puffs, if you aren’t ingesting some heavy preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup on Super Bowl Sunday, you’re really not doing it properly. In a side-by-side comparison, though, I think you’ll find these roasted chickpeas get snatched up just as quickly as the processed snacky foods, so why not? Sneak them in and see what happens.
So garbanzos, chickpeas, ceci beans: whatever it is you call yourself, I take it all back. You, friends, are absolutely a-okay with me.
Spicy Toasted Chickpeas
- two 11 oz. jars of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (or a neutral oil such as grapeseed or corn)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 1 tsp celery seed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients. Spread out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chickpeas are well browned and crisp, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes (I used the smaller Italian variety of chickpeas; yours may take slightly longer). Let cool slightly, check the seasonings and adjust to your taste.
Variation: you can substitute whatever dried herbs or spice blends you like; the chickpeas are neutral enough in flavor that they’ll take to just about anything well.