In Season: Garbanzo Beans

This is one of my favorite meatless proteins. Yes, garbanzo beans can come from behind the sneeze guard at the salad bar. They are good for more than making hummus. With a minimal amount of preparation, they can make a substantial addition to any meal.

You can use dried garbanzo beans; they are cheap and hardy, but do require a long soak. So when I am feeling lazy—yes, that does happen—I will crack open a can, drain, rinse, and get to gussying these beans up in no time. One of my favorite ways to prepare garbanzo beans is to roast them.

When roasted, the garbanzo turns into a completely different bean. The nuttiness comes out, and the bean turns from a peaked nothing into a chewy, rich, highly snackable food. I have served these beans as an accompaniment to a meal, and I have also served them as a snack food, poised in bowls at a cocktail party. They are that easy; and they have gotten rave reviews both ways.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. With a paper towel, pat the beans. You want the beans to be relatively dry before roasting. Put the beans in a bowl and toss well with olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper.

Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes. Garbanzos should be golden brown and slightly dry. Snack away.

Adrienne Kane is a writer and photographer. She is the author of a memoir, Cooking and Screaming, and the food blog, nosheteria.com

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