In less than 30 minutes, two cans of chickpeas are transformed into a delicious lunch or light dinner, thanks to a quick roast in the oven and the addition of garlic, feta and mint. Serve the warm chickpeas over a bed of spinach with hearty whole-grain bread on the side or stuff the chickpeas into a pita with a handful of spinach for fork-free picnic fare.
Serves 2-3 as a main course
2 15- to 16-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed, drained until as dry as possible
3 tablespoons olive oil (you really don’t need this much; just use enough to thoroughly coat the bottom of the pan)
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
½ cup chopped fresh mint
Fresh spinach leaves (as much as you want!)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place enough oil in the bottom of a large oven-proof skillet or roasting pan to thoroughly coat the bottom of the pan. Turn the stove onto medium heat and place the pan on the burner. When the oil is hot, add the chickpeas, crushed red pepper and salt and pepper. Stir the chickpeas so they are evenly coated with oil and spices.*
Transfer the skillet or roasting pan to the oven and roast, shaking the pan occasionally. When the chickpeas begin to brown, after about 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and stir in the garlic, feta and mint. Spoon the hot chickpeas over spinach and serve immediately.
*Alternatively, you could skip heating the oil on the stove. Instead, place the oil in a 9×13-inch glass baking dish, heat the dish in the oven until the oil is hot, remove from the oven, stir in chickpeas and spices and continue roasting as above.