Who needs empty-calorie croutons when you can substitute nutritious*, roasted chickpeas?
In photo #1, DeLallo serves it as a garnish for avocado soup (here’s the recipe for the soup).
But roasted chickpeas an be used as a general garnish for:
2. COMBINE the chickpeas, chopped chiles, oils, paprika and salt in a medium bowl. Toss well to combine and spread evenly onto prepared baking sheet.
3. ROAST for 20-30 minutes until slightly crisp, stirring every 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
THE HISTORY OF CHICKPEAS
They are one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East (which means, chickpeas have been eaten since long before the beginning of recorded history).
Cicer arietinum, the chickpea genus and species, is a legume in the family Fabaceae. Fabaceae is known variously as the bean, legume or pea family.
You may know chickpeas by one of their other names: ceci or cece (Italian), chana or Kabuli chana (Northern India), Egyptian pea, garbanzo (Spanish), gram or Bengal gram (British India).
The word chickpea in English came from the French chich, from cicer, Latin for chickpea.
Chich is found in print in English in 1388. It took another five centuries for “chick-pea” to appear in print in England, in the mid-18th century.
Fun fact: The Roman cognomen Cicero came from cicer. Yes, the great orator Roman Marcus Tullius Cicero—also a consul, constitutionalist, lawyer, philosopher, political theorist and politician—was a member of the Chickpea family.
A cognomen was the third name of a citizen of ancient Rome—the hereditary name that we call a surname, which passed from father to child. The second name—the family name or clan name—identified a particular branch within a family, or family within a clan.
The Oxford English Dictionary lists a 1548 reference to chickpeas that reads, “Cicer may be named in English Cich, or ciche pease, after the Frenche tonge.” By the mid-18th century, ciche peas evolved to chick-peas.
The word “garbanzo” is a bit more obscure. It is first noted in English in the 17th century, as “calavance,” with a possible parent from the Basque word garbantzu, a compound of garau, seed and antzu, dry.
In ancient Greece, chickpeas (called erébinthos) were consumed raw when young and eaten as a staple food, as well as a dessert.
Peas and beans are both legumes and seeds, both members of the Fabaceae botanical family. The chickpea, also popularly called the garbanzo bean, is actually a bean. Some key differences:
Check out the different types of beans and legumes in our Bean Glossary.
*One cup of roasted chickpeas contains 269 calories: 45 g of carbohydrate, 15 g of protein, 13 g of dietary fiber, 4 g of fat but zero cholesterol. They contain good amounts of B vitamins, fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus and zinc.