Amid a flurry of baking – I have another book manuscript due in a week – I decided that we should have something that’s not a scone/cookie/cinnamon bun to nibble on (crazy, I know), and I’ve been meaning to make another batch of roasted chickpeas since having the very best ones I’ve ever eaten at Rostizado in Edmonton. I could have happily eaten their crunchy/spicy/tangy bar snacks all night, and when I asked what made them so crazy good, they showed me a bottle of a Mexican spice blend that as far as I could tell contained merely chile powder, salt and lime.
I could do this.
Roasting chickpeas is really easy – all you do is drain a can really well and pat them dry as best you can – moisture is what keeps anything from getting nice and crispy – then sread them out on the darkest baking sheet you own (it will conduct heat more efficiently than lighter ones) and drizzle with oil and salt. Sometimes I add chili powder and cumin, but this time I added a squeeze of lime, then let them sit in the lime juice for a bit and patted them dry with paper towel before dousing in olive oil, chili powder and sea salt. Some weren’t quite as crunchy as usual, but I loved the flavour of the lime. Next time I’ll try leaving out the juice and just adding lime zest – I like a good crunch – and report back.
So you roast them at 425F for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until they’re nice and golden and crunchy. This is the sort of snack that you have to serve right away – if you put them into a container and pull them out the next day – say to munch on the airplane – they might have developed the texture of wet paper towel.