My Favorite Weeknight Side

Pan-Roasted Chickpea Salad

I confess to a chickpea (or garbanzo bean, if you prefer) addiction. I also like lima beans. Or pretty much all beans. But chickpeas are definitely my favorite. Maybe because they are perfect for all kinds of things, from salads to hummus.

Oh, hummus! Talk about a perfect gluten-free taste treat.

But when it comes to weeknight meals, I turn to chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) in their simplest form: whole and cooked. Yeah, I could stop there, and we’d all be happy, but I can’t. There’s another step to this delicious dish. Okay, two more steps, but they’re both pretty simple.

I usually throw my soaked (in salty water) chickpeas into the pressure cooker with more liquid and a bit more salt. After they’re done, I make sure they’re fairly dry before I store them for weeknight meals and lunches.

When I’m hungry for chickpeas, I simply heat some olive oil in a skillet, toss the dry, cooked chickpeas into the pan, and let them roast away over medium-high heat, stirring to get roasted brown spots all over. I don’t want them crispy — that’s an entirely different recipe! — but I do want them browned in spots and full of roasted flavor.

While the chickpeas are doing their thing on the stove, I whip together a lemony vinaigrette and chop parsley. When the chickpeas are done, I toss them in the vinaigrette, add the parsley, adjust the seasonings, and serve.

(And by serve, I mean I perform heroic actions to prevent myself from devouring the dish before the rest of the meal is done.)

The crazy thing about this dish is that everyone who’s ever tried it raves about the flavor. And they think I’ve put more effort into it than I have (always a bonus!).

And you can mix up the vinaigrette flavor — I’ve made a vinaigrette with pomegranate molasses that was perfect with my roasted chickpeas. Don’t want/like/have parsley? Substitute sauteed and chopped spinach or skip the green stuff.

What is you favorite way to serve chickpeas? Have you ever tried roasting them? I’m always looking for great ideas!

Tip of the Week

Of course you can used canned chickpeas in this recipe. Just rinse them and dry them with a towel before pan roasting.

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