I Say Garbanzo – Hummus and Roasted Garbanzo Beans

You say Chickpea, I say Garbanzo.

Because it’s more fun than chickpeas. And because Garbanzo sounds more manly. Look at this: Chick and pea  vs.  GARBANZO, the newest addition to the Autobots, that only speaks Spanish.

Step aside, Dora/Handy Manny.

Plus that’s what the cans call ’em. Garbanzo Beans.

Garbanzo Beans are one of those things that cannot be matched in flavor. They have their own taste that makes things like hummus even more special.They also have the ability to become all kinds of crunchy when roasted and will rival any chip or pretzel or salty bit of goodness.

And they are extremely easy and inexpensive to cook on your own.

Lets look at the price. On sale 1 14oz can of chickpeas comes in at .68, yielding about a cup and a half. Everyday price of Garbanzo’s in the bulk section – .79, yielding about 5 1/2 c when cooked.

And dry bean gets the square.

Ease of preparation, for almost any bean:

Rinse under cold water, sort through for bad beans and small pebbles.
Soak beans in twice as much water overnight, no longer than 12 hours, in a cool place, or the beans could sour.
Add a little bit of oil to help battle the foam, and begin to heat, uncovered over medium/high heat until boiling. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 min.
Add 2 t of salt, for every pound of beans, at this point in time and cook for another 30 min.
Check for doneness and drain if done, using in whatever recipe you’d like. Beans also freeze well, and I’d imagine you could use the liquid to be extra BA and can your own beans.

Remember with chickpeas, they aren’t supposed to be as soft as other beans, they almost need to be cooked al dente.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Billy?! What if I  don’t want to freeze or can beans? What am I supposed to do with 5 1/2 c of garbanzos?”

Pull yourself together, I’ve got hummus

and a crunchy snack.

First up, the hummus. This is one of those recipes that I barely messed with. I’ve never made hummus before, and I’ve tasted it a few times, so I wouldn’t be able to say yay or nay to any of the ingredients. When I want to make a dish for the first time I usually head to Alton Brown or Ina Garten, and I read quite a bit of the reviews. This is especially helpful when I’m trying to make something that has a thousand variations, like hummus. I landed on an episode of Good Eats on YouTube that revolved around legumes, and had a hummus recipe. I went for it.

The only ingredient that is supposed to be crucial in Hummus is Tahini. It’s a paste made of toasted sesame seeds, much like peanut or almond butter is. It’s also extremely expensive, like 7 bucks for a jar that would spoil before I’d be able to use it up. Alton Brown used smooth peanut butter, and I will never question Alton on anything related to food, so I got extra excited to see it was ok not to use Tahini and go for the extremely inexpensive cousin.

The only reason these ingredients are supposed to be in the hummus is to give it a light, nutty flavor. A couple of the reviews said all I could taste was the peanut butter, but I think they may have added the full amount. I went with half and it was just enough.

Here’s a little tip that I would think would be common sense, but what do I know:
If a recipe calls for a varied amount on an ingredient, go with the smallest amount and add, according to taste – I’m just sayin’.

When it comes to roasted chickpeas, it’s even easier than the Hummus. Just grab some chickpeas and throw them on a baking sheet with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, some salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings you want to add. My personal favorite is a healthy dose of cumin, to make it almost like falafel bites, then you roast away for 40 min at 400 degrees, shaking the pan every 15 min to make sure everybody’s sharing properly. Seriously, try these. You wont be disappointed. They taste great by themselves or thrown into a salad for a crunch factor. I went with some lettuce, tomato, tuna, and a pepperoncini dressing – recipe after the jump.

All legumes are extremely healthy for you and are a great source of protein for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. I have plans to cook one pot of beans a week and use them throughout for meals. You should do the same.

Slightly adapted from Alton Brown’s Turbo Hummus.

1 1/2 c cooked garbanzo beans, or 1 can if you have a really good excuse.
small handful of parsley
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely, or microplaned
1/3 c reserved cooking, or canning, liquid
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 T smooth peanut butter
splash of hot sauce
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4-1/3 olive oil, I used 1/4 c

Throw the garbanzo’s, parsley and garlic into a food processor, zip around until nicely combined.

Add everything else except the olive oil. Pulse until combined.

Flip the processor on and slowly add the olive oil until the desired consistency is reached.

Pepperoncini dressing

1/2 c sour cream
2-3 T mayo
1/2 t each garlic powder, onion powder, and kosher salt
1/4 c pepperoncini juice, from the jar you should have in your fridge
1/2 c buttermilk
pinch of pepper

mix all the ingredients together and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. It’s a little spicy so taste before you add the pepper.

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