Cupboard chickpeas

For some reason that we cannot comprehend fully, we very much enjoy cooking chickpeas in the spring. We do feel that chickpeas are for most a winter dish, maybe a summer one if you turn them into a cold salad. But, to reiterate, for some reason that we cannot comprehend fully, we very much enjoy cooking chickpeas in the spring.

This week, as most of us are at home with what we assume is fully-stocked pantries, we thought it was time we made some chickpeas. Maybe to remember that it is spring outside, even if it often doesn’t feel like it.

Our chickpeas come from small farms in northern Greece and have this beautiful softness and intense flavour that is rare to find. They also behave well in cooking. So they have become one of our favourite cupboard staples.

We like experimenting with sweet flavours (have you made these ones with honey?) and spices. This week we are not making a stew. We are roasting them in the oven, using only things you have in your cupboard: fragrant spices and dried herbs! Of course, feel free to omit or replace any herbs or spices you don’t have. Now that time seems to move differently, you can leisurely soak them the night before, boil them the morning after and pop them in the oven just in time for dinner.

Serves two

150g chickpeas
1tsp baking soda
6 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried garlic
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
Greek yogurt (to serve)

The night before soak your chickpeas. The morning after, rinse them and place them in a pot with fresh water. Add the baking soda and cook until tender but not broken down, around 45 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Preheat the oven at 200C.

In a big bowl, toss together the chickpeas with the olive oil and all the herbs, spices and salt.

Scatter them in one layer in a baking sheet that’s covered in greaseproof paper and place in the oven. In around 15 minutes, the cheickpeas will be tender and slightly crispy. You can remove them then. Or, leave them in the oven for another 5 minutes, until they become very crispy.

Serve with Greek yogurt, drizzling more olive oil and crunchy raw vegetables-we used fresh red peppers!

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