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Author Notes: Peanuts? Pickled eggs? Crisps or chili fries?
No. HELL no. No. No. NO NO NOOOOO!
When I'm lounging with a good beer, I want a decent snack; something with crunch, protein and a little kick in the pants to offset the booze I'm sipping now, but will be chugging later before collapsing in a pile and passing out in the oddest place you can imagine.
But never mind boozy nights; toasted beans are delicious on top of a salad, or just as a snack on their own. There's always a jar of them on my living room table, and I usually have some in my car or in my bag when I'm going to be away from the house and my precious jar of them for any length of time. They've become pretty ubiquitous in my life; and after you see how simple they are to make, you'll be all over them too. They're versatile, can be made in just a few minutes, and they're just damned delicious.
The best thing about toasting beans is that every batch is different. Today, we have some toasted in a simple mix of black pepper and cumin. Tomorrow, dill. The day after, sage and cardamom. The possibilities are endless and I encourage you to go with gusto wherever your tummy may take you. It's as few or as many ingredients as you like, and there's only two catches: watch the amount of oil you use, too much will ruin everything. Also, you must use dried herbs and spices for this, as delicious as the fresh stuff is, it'll just burn in the oven and be bitter and gross. —Michael
Makes 2 cups
- 2 cups Cooked garbanzo beans
- 2 tablespoons Good olive oil
- 3 teaspoons Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Ground cumin
- Cook the beans according to package, or skip this step if using canned beans.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees (F).
- Spread the beans out on a paper towel lined baking sheet and then cover with another paper towel. The cooked beans need to be as dry as possible.
- I remove the skins at this point. It's very time consuming removing the skin one bean at a time, but rolling them around under the paper towel helps loosen things up. Either way, it takes some time. A survey of other toasted bean recipes reveal this as a point of contention among cooks; however, I prefer the beans completely naked. The choice is yours.
- Combine olive oil, cumin, and black pepper (or any other spices you're using) with a little salt in a mixing bowl.
- Toss the cooked, dry and cleaned beans with the olive oil and spices.
- Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 (F) for thirty minutes.
- Toss every ten minutes and return to the oven until golden and crunchy on the outside, and creamy in the center. If they turn brown, they're burnt. (Which you may or may not find troubling. I've eaten many a jar-full of 'burnt' beans without apology.)
- Serve hot right out of the oven, or store in a jar at room temperature for up to a week. If they last that long.