Lucky for the chickpea-obsessed, they can be made into an amazing snack. When chickpeas are roasted, they become nice and crunchy, and absolutely addictive. Throw in a ton of salt and some spice, eat them warm out of the oven, and find yourself in Snack Heaven.
I have noticed that this recipe is featured on a lot of diet blogs, which is kind of a shame, because they are delicious enough to be enjoyed in their own right, as opposed to a passable substitution for another craving. My philosophy is: if what you want is chips, just eat some damn chips! Nothing else will satisfy, and you’ll be craving them again the next day, anyway. I don’t think it’s fair to approach these roasted chickpeas as just a healthy substitute for junk food, because you will not appreciate them for what they really are: an awesome snack that can be made at any time out of pantry items. Believe me, you will crave these; they are are that good.
I’ve been perfecting the recipe over the last couple of years, and the trick to getting the best, most crunchy texture is to dry the rinsed chickpeas as much as you can. Although you can roast them straight after rinsing with fine results, a little extra work is worth it. I even go so far as to remove the papery skins off of each chickpea, which I find makes quite a difference in the end result (but may only be advisible to the extremely anal-retentive).
I like my chickpeas to be as salty as fries or popcorn, so I really pile it on. Don’t be shy! Chickpeas are very forgiving, because they require a lot of help in the flavour department; so, you can’t over-salt them. My favourite way to spice them is with cayenne pepper, but I’ve had good results with cumin, and curry powder as well. I’ve never tried it, but I bet a sweet version could also be made, perhaps with cinnamon sugar. Mmmm…I think an experiment is in order!
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Extra-virgin olive oil (approx. 2-3 tbsp)
Preheat oven to 425C.
Line a cookie sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Spread chickpeas on top of paper towels. Using another double layer of paper towels, roll the chickpeas around on the pan to dry them (this will also remove a lot of the skins).
Remove the rest of the skins, if desired. Repeat drying with paper towels.
Remove paper towels, leaving chickpeas on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt, and add a few pinches of cayenne pepper.
Shake the pan until all chickpeas are evenly coated. (At this point, you can taste a raw chickpea to see if the salt and spice is to your liking.)
Roast for 30-40 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes. Chickpeas are ready when they are browned and crunchy (and noisy when rattled).
Add more salt if needed. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Although I have yet to encounter left-overs, you could store them in an air-tight container for several days.