When I first became vegetarian at age 17, I’d never seen a bean outside of a minestrone soup, so you can understand how it might have taken me a while to come around to them. I used burritos, where the beans are combined with strong flavors and other textures, as my gateway food, but soon moved on to white bean soup and other, simpler preparations. This, however, is by far the simplest one I’ve fallen for yet:
Did you know chickpeas pop in a hot pan? It’s not as spectacular an inside-out action as with popcorn, but they distinctly make popping noises and do a little dance. Also, it turns out, they get really tasty.
I think that this first came to me through Serious Eats, but I wouldn’t swear it
About 1 T. olive oil
2-3 cloves minced garlic or 1 t. crushed garlic from a jar
2 c. cooked chickpeas or the contents of one 15 oz. can, drained and rinsed
1 t. dried rosemary
salt and pepper
2 T. parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Don’t get too much higher than this or they won’t pop!
Add the garlic to the oil and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the chickpeas. Stir to coat them with the oil, and then wait patiently. They’ll start to darken on the bottom and then pop. Shake or stir the pan occasionally.
You can see in that photo that sometimes the skins come off the chickpeas; I usually pick them out, although there’s no reason you can’t eat them.
When they’re cooked to your liking, stir in the rosemary and season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat. Be careful not to oversalt; you’re going to add salty cheese in a minute! Turn the contents of the pan out into a bowl (I line it with a paper towel in case there’s any excess oil) and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
I like these best fresh out of the pan, but they reheat well, too, and make a good snack.