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!


cooked chickpeas
a few tablespoons of olive oil
sea salt
seasoning of your choice*

oven: 425˚
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.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nishta Mehra. Nishta Mehra said: a Mother's Day post, with chickpeas: […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention a Mother's Day post, with chickpeas: -- — May 9, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

  2. Another wonderful post! I do so hope we can meet and that I can be part of your next year’s celebration. BTW, you already do a fine job of mothering – in taking such good care of your friends and guests; don’t ever forget that. Happy Mothers day to you, your Mom, and everyone else who does the same :-).

    Comment by Analog Girl — May 9, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

  3. I love roasted chickpeas as a snack or especially as a crunchy alternative to croutons on salad. Yum. I love the idea of lime juice as a seasoning! I am going to have to try that soon. Seeing the chickpeas here though reminds me of your yummy hummus recipe, too, which I have not made in a while. I have all the ingredients on hand, though, so I should make some of that, too!

    Comment by Karin (an alien parisienne) — May 10, 2010 @ 9:05 am

  4. Great idea! I love simple tasty snacks like these.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by yummy supper — May 10, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

  5. Do you know how long chickpeas can be stored in the fridge after opening? I drained out the can and used half. Put the other half in closed tupperware in fridage…

    Comment by callie — May 10, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

  6. Hi Babblajee,
    You flatter me! Thank you for the kind words. I am very thankful that you have friends who love you and love to help you. Mamas do not mind being tired, they just do not want their children to be tired too.

    At the same time I am very proud that you do work hard and do not like to cut corners. I know, Moms are a very complicated creatures.
    much love,

    Comment by Veena Mehra — May 10, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

  7. I don’t know which I enjoyed more — the recipe or the lovely word portrait of Veena. And you will be a wonderful mother one day!

    Comment by Dorothy — May 11, 2010 @ 12:57 am

  8. I will try this out coz I have a bowl of cooked chickpeas in the fridge. Great idea. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Comment by Elin — May 11, 2010 @ 4:32 am

  9. Analog Girl- thank you for the good wishes! and you’re right, the idea of “mother” can and should be broadly applied.

    Karin–love the idea of using these as a salad topping, genius!

    yummy supper–thanks for visiting.

    callie–I would say you could keep them for up to a week. you might want to rinse them before using.

    mama–you are the cutest. xoxo

    Dorothy–thank you! I hope so.

    Elin–hope you enjoy. it’s a great use for leftover chickpeas!

    Comment by Blue Jean Gourmet — May 11, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  10. I forgot to wish you a happy blog birthday!! I read that part too fast last time, but re-read just now, so I thought I would come back and say thank you for all the hard work you put into this blog. May Blue Jean Gourmet have many blog birthdays to come. 🙂

    Comment by Karin (an alien parisienne) — May 17, 2010 @ 7:11 am

  11. Oooh, I’ve heard tell of these, but never seen them written out! Thanks for these — I look forward to giving them a try.

    Comment by molly — May 28, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  12. molly–my pleasure! they have become a staple in our kitchen.

    Comment by Blue Jean Gourmet — June 3, 2010 @ 3:36 am

  13. This is now my most favorite snack. My kids love it too. Here is my recipe

    Comment by Cucee Sprouts — July 27, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  14. […] calls this a “dead-easy snack” that’s healthier than chips and – just to repeat myself a bunch of times to make a point –  cheaper than peanuts. Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 | Category: Snacks […]

    Pingback by Roasted Chickpeas - Real Cheap Food — December 14, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

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  16. […] First, roast the chickpeas, which you can do ahead of time.  For this recipe, I used Aleppo pepper to season the chickpeas, but you can also keep them plain, using salt and olive oil only. […]

    Pingback by RAPINI WITH CHICKPEAS & RICOTTA — February 28, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

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