Roasted chickpeas are all the rage as a snack, but I’m reluctant to heat up an oven for a can’s worth of chickpeas, if nothing else being baked! Oven roasting chickpeas can also dry them out, occasionally even making them explode. I’ve had better luck with skillet toasting, which yields good flavor and texture every time. These are good eaten out of hand as an appetizer or snack in place of far more caloric nuts. These disappear quickly, so if you’re serving a larger or hungrier crowd, double the recipe and use a larger skillet. They make a tasty salad topping, too.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or Bragg liquid amines
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 1½ cups cooked (or one 15- to 16-ounce can, drained and rinsed) chickpeas
- Smoked or sweet paprika, ground cumin, chili powder, mesquite, freshly ground pepper, jerk seasoning, salt-free seasoning blend, or other favorite spices, to taste
- Combine the oil, soy sauce, syrup, and lemon juice in a medium skillet and stir together. Stir in the chickpeas.
- Bring the mixture to a slow simmer over medium heat, then simmer (uncovered) until the liquid is completely reduced and envelopes the chickpeas nicely, stirring occasionally.
- Cook until the chickpeas are touched with golden brown spots here and there. This should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Choose 2 or 3 of the spices listed, and use about 1 teaspoon in total — 1½ teaspoons at most! Don't use too much spice, or it will overwhelm this quantity of chickpeas. Even with just pepper, these taste awesome. The idea is to find combinations that you enjoy most.
- Sprinkle desired spices into the skillet, and cook, stirring, until the spices are evenly distributed, about a minute longer.
- Transfer the chickpeas to a small shallow serving bowl. Allow to cool until just warm or room temperature, then serve.
- Here are more tasty vegan appetizers.
Photos: Bigstock photo