I’m a savory kind of girl: given the choice between cupcakes and salted nuts, I’ll take the nuts every time. In fact, I’m making my favorite spiced nuts this weekend to munch while watching whisper-thin actresses sob over their Oscars. But even a gonzo gal can get tired of an old favorite, which was why I was excited to try roasted spicy chickpeas.
I first read about them in an article by Daisann McLane in National Geographic Traveler. Daisann wrote about traveling through India and the bittersweet moment when it’s time to move on. Could it be time to move on from my beloved nuts?
There are tons of roasted chickpea recipes out there, but I worked with one from my favorite food mag, Everyday Food. The first batch came out too oily and spicy for me, so I reduced the oil and pepper (I used ½ teaspoon), upped the temperature on the oven, and did a second roasting to get them extra crispy (to some, slightly burned; to me, perfect). That’s why I suggest that the second roasting should be optional – taste before roasting.
Then crack open a beer because these babies are spicy. I’m talking clear-your-sinuses spicy. And after a quick dry roasting, they were perfectly crisp on the outside before yielding to a soft inside. Oh, and did I mention easy?
Roasted Spicy Chickpeas
1-15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
½-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 475°.
2. Combine ingredients in a bowl and gently mix to combine.
3. Spread chickpea mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven, roasting until crisp, about 12 minutes.
4. Remove from oven, test for crispiness. At this point, if you’d like them crispier, drain the chickpeas on paper towels set over a plate, then return to the baking sheet and roast for another 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Let cool before enjoying; serve warm.
Adapted from a recipe by Everyday Food magazine.