The Food Desert Project - Roasted Chickpeas with Homemade "Za'atar"

The Food Desert Project - Roasted Chickpeas with Homemade "Za'atar"

013Sometimes, you just really need a simple recipe that doesn’t take that much time and energy but really delivers on flavor.  I’ve found all kinds of roasted-til-crunchy foods really appeal to Sparky: it’s the only way I can get him to eat kale or beets.  While we have no trouble eating chickpeas in our household,  I love the recipes we’ve seen floating around the internet for them as a crunchy snack food.
However, they are kind of bland on their own, and missing the flavors of lemon and tahini that we often associate with chickpeas (the main ingredients in hummus)  I recently stumbled into a discussion of za’atar bread, and realized this was the seasoning I was searching for!   This Middle Eastern spice paste usually contains at minimum sumac, thyme and sesame seeds – but unfortunately, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that sumac is not available in the food desert (it’s barely available in grocery stores.) I looked up substitution suggestions and found…lemon pepper!  While it isn’t exactly the same, it will give those lemony notes that sumac brings to the party -so, my recipe for food desert za’atar follows:

1 tablespoon each of:
Dried thyme
Lemon pepper seasoning (check and see if yours has salt)
Sesame Seeds

1 can of chickpeas
Olive oil to coat
Salt to taste (depending on your seasoning)

Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a nonstick pan for just a moment, then dump all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until everything is finely ground (it will be a bit clumpy because of the oil in the sesame seeds)

018For the roasted chickpeas, drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, and drizzle with EVOO (I do this while they’re still in the can.)  Pour onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a thick layer of za’atar.   Salt to taste (remembering that your lemon pepper may have salt)  Roast at 450 for 15 minutes or until the chickpeas are crunchy and brown.

Eat as a snack, or add to salads. Nutritional Information

Filed under: Pantry cooking, Recipe

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