The thing that makes a salad so special to me is an extra and unexpected ingredient. So I always keep something pickled in the fridge and something crunchy in the pantry.
One of my favorite crunchy salad ingredients are roasted chickpeas! These delicious salad toppers are slow roasted in the oven with rich smoky bacon, tangy fresh chives and sweet savory garlic. Sprinkled with salt & pepper, every flavor shines through!
These make a salty, smoky, crunchy topping which are wonderful on most any salad, especially those with a Mediterranean flair. But I won’t lie, these chickpeas are a great snack right out of the jar!
There are only four simple ingredients with little prep. All you need is patience while they slowly roast and your kitchen fills up with the most glorious aromas! Chop up the ingredients and place them on a baking sheet. They are ready in just about an hour.
Chickpeas are really a blank canvas. And the possibilities for this roasted chickpea recipe are numerous. Here’s how you can MAKE IT YOUR OWN:
- Play with the flavors in the bacon. Use Hickory smoked, Applewood smoked, or Cherrywood smoked bacon. Or try a spiced or peppered bacon.
- Use ham, pancetta or speck in place of bacon.
- Make this vegetarian by using coconut bacon, seitan, or soy protein bacon.
- I used fresh chives because I needed to use some up. But other herbs would be great, too. Sage, rosemary and thyme come to mind.
- I’d keep the garlic because it adds so much flavor and sweetens as it roasts. I used 3 cloves. You can add more or less.
- Diced onions, scallions or shallots would be great.
- Toss with other seasonings after roasting, like chili spice or curry, or Old Bay Seasoning.
If you are more fortunate than others, build a longer table, not a taller fence.
- 2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
- 4 slices of bacon, roughly diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped chives
- salt & pepper to taste
- Make sure the chickpeas are very dry before starting.
- If you have time, spread them out on paper towels for a few hours before roasting.
- Otherwise blot them very well.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spread the chickpeas out on a single layer on your baking sheet.
- Toss the bacon, chives and garlic on top and mix lightly.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, stirring 3-4 times throughout the cooking, until the chickpeas are golden brown.
- Taste and re-season with more salt & pepper or other seasonings if desired.
All of my salads, dressings and recipes are just a starting place for your imagination. So feel free to add or swap ingredients and do what works for you!