I’ve been fortunate enough to eat out at some of the tastiest restaurants in the last week and try lots of new flavour combinations.
I’ve sampled cucumber shrub, stuffed artichokes, omelette soufflé and a superfood salad – new on the menu of a well known Italian brand, best known for their pizza (and dough balls)… Ok, so the last one’s not exactly fine dining, but their house dressing is just too good to refuse a salad, and this new addition to their menu is a goodie.
One of the eateries I finally got to try is in Stoke Newington and has a wonderfully open and engaging atmosphere. The best seat in the house is at the kitchen bar, where diners face the small kitchen watching a team of highly skilled chefs work in an almost balletic fashion preparing a range of tapas dishes.
We ordered a bowl of crispy chickpeas to accompany a glass of something chilled and to help inform our menu choices. I’d never tried a crispy chickpea, nor had ever thought they might be as delicious as they were. Little puffs of soft centred spiced chickpea, deep-fried to form a crispy shell. Yum.
I wanted to try and recreate them at home, but I’ve neither had nor have any intention of ever buying a deep fat fryer, however I think I’ve landed on something not too dissimilar which are oven-baked, just as spiced and just as moreish.
These crispy bites of spiced chickpea yumminess will certainly make for good nibbles, while the charcoal heats up for BBQ feasts. Forget Spring, Summer’s in town!
1 can of chickpeas
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
pinch of salt
pinch of dried chilli flakes
Heat oven to 180°C.
Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas and dry on kitchen roll.
Coat the chickpeas in oil and spice mix.
Spread the chickpeas out in one layer onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25mins.
Sprinkle salt and dried chilli flakes on top, and serve.