charleston chickpeas

No, these garbanzos are not native to our vacation locale. My Alice-in-law asked what we might bring for kitchen basics, and I couldn’t help but grab several cans of chickpeas from our well-stocked cabinet.

For a week of cooking at the beach, I needed to pack my essentials: kitchen scissors, citrus zester, mini food processor, chef’s knife, mini whisk. Three spices: cinnamon, red chile pepper, and my new favorite smoked paprika. Along with olive oil, salt and pepper, these really cover the bases!

I’m a funny little vegetarian (in more ways than you can imagine); I really don’t like beans—and wouldn’t it be helpful if I did? Like my distaste for meat, it’s all a texture thing. My one exception is chickpeas, and preferably when they’re crunchy. What a fabulous, fiber-filled snack. It’s like healthy bar food.

Paprika is a subtle, mild spice of dried, ground sweet peppers. While it is often used for color alone, smoked paprika adds such a smokey essence it almost has a bacon flavor. Far from my vegetarian tastebuds, but so fabulous I’m in love.

Crunchy Paprika Chickpeas

makes 2 cups, adapted from Fresh Flavors Fast

2 cans (15.5 ounces each) chickpeas

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tsp. coarse salt

1.5 tsp. smoked paprika

Be wary of extra-virgin olive oil here. It has such a low burning point, it will smoke and pop under the high heat. I nearly set our oven on fire and scarcely avoided spattering oil burns. Pure olive oil, or another oil with a high smoking point (grapeseed or canola) is safest when crisping these beans in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Drain and rinse chickpeas, patting dry with a paper towel. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with oil; toss to coat evenly. Spread in a single layer and roast until deep brown and crispy, tossing occasionally, 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt and paprika; roast until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool completed. Chickpeas can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

A faster, stovetop method I use most days after work:

Add the drained chickpeas to a very large skillet (I prefer a 12″ nonstick) with olive oil over medium heat. Stir occasionally until crisp, then stir in smoked paprika. This is a great time for a splatter screen if you’ve got one; my itty IKEA investment has been well worth it—far less oil on our stove!

Upside to the stovetop method: the chickpeas crisp in about 10 minutes… and you can snack while you cook.

Upside to the oven method: you can leave the chickpeas alone for 40 minutes, and they develop the deep crunch of an almond under such heat.

I made these smoked paprika chickpeas for a party recently, and thought it would be a fun beach snack for our vacation. Such a hit among the in-laws!

Nonetheless, I don’t know if even these crunchy delights can compare with my super super favorite snack of the trip: this fresh-grilled Everything pretzel from the Charleston farmer’s market. Accompanied, sweetly, by luscious lemonade squeezed just moments earlier…

Gets me so darn excited for summer! Which summer treat excites you most??

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4 Comments

Filed under health, lickety-quick, small bites, techniques

4 responses to “charleston chickpeas

  1. Jeanne DeCamilla

    Loved your chickpea recipe. My daughter is a vegetarian and I am always looking for interesting ideas. I am selling fresh California olive oil in the Charleston Farmers Market this year. Stop by and see us on your next visit to the market! Jeanne DeCamilla/Olinda Olives and Olive Oil

    • Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. I bought remarkable oil-cured olives at the farmer’s market while we were on vacation. Did you (or your booth partner) wear an Everyday Food apron?? Might be a smaller world than I imagined!

      A Pear to Remember has an abundance of vegetarian recipes, just re-made panazanella tonight—easy as can be and always pleases meat-lovers.

  2. I love crunchy oven roasted chickpeas! These looks wonderful! A great snack!

    • I need to start buying bigger cans… I gobble these up before the hubby walks in the door! Thank you for visiting, your blog is fabulous.

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