When people show up for dinner, it’s nice to have something out to munch on, so that you can sit down and enjoy a drink with your friends and take the edge off of everyone’s hunger.
You can make everyone feel warm and welcome and a little bit fed before you have to hunker down in the kitchen to finish making the meal.
I find the appy can be the hardest thing to plan, however. I always want something that complements the rest of the menu, but for me it is usually an afterthought, and a scramble.
It’s full of all the inspired bites, dips and spreads, casual nibbles, and fancy hors d’oeuvres you could hope for, all in one book. I bookmarked a bajillion recipes the very first time I thumbed through, and I’ll be ordering several copies to give as Christmas gifts. I don’t think anyone can have too much appetizer inspiration.
These Roasted Spiced Chickpeas were the first recipe I tried. I wanted something easy and light to start an Indian meal. I loved that the recipe called for whole cumin seeds, which get toasty and delicious with this method of oven frying, and are addictive in their own right.
The chickpeas were totally addictive, especially the crispy bits. They packed quite a bit of heat, which made it funny to watch the toddlers who couldn’t stop eating although their tongues were on fire: One chickpea, one slug of milk, one chickpea, one slug of milk.
Grab a copy before the holiday entertaining frenzy begins! I’m giving one away here.
Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cans 15.5 ounces each chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Pour oil on a rimmed baking sheet, and heat in oven until hot, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss to combine chickpeas, cayenne, and cumin. Season with salt.
- Spread chickpea mixture in a single layer on hot baking sheet. Bake until chickpeas are crisp, stirring halfway through, 10-12 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain and cool slightly before serving.