Reinventing plant-based eating is what Tal Ronnen is all about. At his Los Angeles restaurant, Crossroads, ( Artisan, 2015) the menu is vegan, but there are no soybeans or bland seitan to be found. He and his executive chef, Scot Jones, turn seasonal vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains into sophisticated Mediterranean fare—think warm bowls of tomato-sauced pappardelle, plates of spicy carrot salad, and crunchy flatbreads piled high with roasted vegetables. In the following recipe you will learn to make a delicious chickpea dish that will not be outdone.
With high levels of fiber and protein, there’s no question that chickpeas are good for you. Sadly, though, they often fall short in the flavor department, ending up bland or, even worse, mealy. Scot and I are huge lovers of spicy food, so we tinkered around with ideas until we produced this dish, which packs a powerful punch of cumin, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. The marinara sauce added at the end gives the chickpeas a terra-cotta hue.
Spiced Chickpeas Recipe
• 2 cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked overnight in cold water, or two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
• 1/2 shallot, minced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1 tablespoon dry sherry
• 1 cup Scoty’s Marinara Sauce or store-bought sauce
• Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Preparing Dried Chickpeas for Recipe1. If using dried chickpeas, drain and rinse them and transfer to a large pot.
2. Add water to cover by 1 inch and bring to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat until the chickpeas are tender, about 1-1/2hours.
3. Drain and rinse. (The chickpeas can be cooked a day ahead and refrigerated, covered.)
Spiced Chickpea Recipe
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Combine the chickpeas, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the oil, and toss to coat.
4. Spread the chickpeas out on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast, shaking the pan from time to time, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chickpeas are firm and dry.
6. Set aside to cool. (The roasted chickpeas can be prepared a couple of hours in advance, covered, and held at room temperature.)
7. Put a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
8. When the oil is hot, stir in the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas, tossing to heat through.
9. Stir in the lemon juice, sherry, and marinara sauce and cook, stirring, until the chickpeas are well coated and the sauce is hot, about 2 minutes.
10. Mound the chickpeas in a shallow serving bowl, top with chopped parsley, and serve warm.
Try these other recipes from Crossroads:
Excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones. (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein.