May 9, 2010
We celebrated Blue Jean Gourmet’s first birthday last night with a backyard happy hour: beer, margaritas, two kinds of sangria, & lots of snacks. It was a beautiful, overcast-but-not grey day and we were blessed with the presence of friends, fans, & even a few strangers (i.e. Twitter friends we’d never met in person!) to help us commemorate the day.
Party pictures and a more detailed menu still to come, but in the meantime I bring you chickpeas, because we served them yesterday, because they are delicious, and because they also serve as a nice Mother’s Day crossover. You see, when you have a mother like mine, who is an incredible, instinctive cook and from whom you learned everything you know about making food—it feels like a real victory to introduce her to a dish or a method or an ingredient that she ends up loving. There’s nothing more fun than your culinary badass mama calling or emailing to say “I love that!” And roasted chickpeas are one such victory.
In one hilariously ironic twist, my mother now fusses at me on the phone, “Don’t work too hard, don’t do too much,” when all I ever saw her do as a kid was work hard, both inside and outside of our house, and cook beautiful meals for eager guests, never letting anyone help, insisting on doing every bit of the prepping, cooking, & cleaning herself, all the while making it look easy and being incredibly gracious.
So when I find myself sending guests out the door with leftovers or insisting “I’ve got it,” when someone tries to help, or when I notice how much like Veena I’m starting to look in pictures as I get older, I’m thrilled. And sometime soon, I hope to notice myself worrying and fussing over a child of my own, raising him or her with as much freedom, love, and unconditional support as I have been blessed to receive over the last twenty-seven years.
To all mamas—biological, adoptive, step-moms, aunts, big sisters, grandmothers, and the women who take on mothering roles in our lives—Happy Mother’s Day.
If you have not discovered how delicious chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans or ceci beans) are when roasted in the oven, please remedy as soon as possible. This is a dead-easy snack; you can make a big, inexpensive batch for a crowd by soaking & cooking a bag of dried beans before roasting, or drain a can at a moment’s notice when unexpected company comes calling.
These spicy chickpeas are a fantastic partner to beer, margaritas, even champagne—you can season them a dozen different ways—and the best part? Healthier than potato or tortilla chips. But no less addictive!
a few tablespoons of olive oil
seasoning of your choice*
pan: baking sheets (optional: line with parchment for easy clean-up)
Drain the chickpeas well, then get them as dry as possible. I like to line my salad spinner with a few paper towels & send the chickpeas flying. Not only does it make a cool noise, it helps the olive oil stick.
Toss the dried chickpeas with a few drizzles of olive oil—you want them to be lightly coated, not drowning. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, checking after the 15 minute mark to shake the baking sheet to ensure that the chickpeas don’t burn.
Once the chickpeas have browned nicely, remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes before sprinkling with salt & seasoning of your choice. Serve warm or allow to the chickpeas to cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container for up to a week.
*For each can of chickpeas, I recommend between 1-2 tsp. of seasoning. My favorite flavorings include: za’atar, smoked paprika, cumin & cayenne, thyme & lemon zest, or chili powder and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.