Wherever you call home, it's likely that there's a restaurant in your neighborhood that you keep going back to. It might or might not be fancy, but one thing is for sure: The staff there treat you right, and you love the food. In Seattle, that place for me is Spur Gastropub, which I had the good fortune to stumble upon during a visit long before we moved here.
Spur serves versions of the classics that you simply shouldn't miss, like their grass fed burger with red onion jam, cheddar and thyme, as well as their sockeye salmon crostini, which I've seen firsthand convert the salmon averse. But it's their Merguez sausage dish that has stolen my heart. Served on top of chickpeas both fried and pureed, with fragrant cilantro and a mound of intensely spicy harissa, this is a dish so good I've gotten it every time we've eaten there. It opened me up to a condiment I'd never used before, but now like so much that I've incorporated into our own dishes, including a pizza.
But you needn't travel to Seattle (or Spur) for that matter to bring these flavors to your dinner table. There is a beautiful version of chickpeas I've been making for years - first for a dinner party with new and now dear friends, second with my boyfriend, who I was trying to impress the first time I cooked for him. There's only one problem with the recipe: You'll probably have to resist eating the entire batch in one sitting. And you might need a napkin.
FIVE-INGREDIENT SPICY BAKED CHICKPEAS
Adapted from the Food Network
- 2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas
- 2 Tablespoons (or less) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt (for finishing)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drain canned chickpeas in a colander over the sink first, then lay them on a kitchen or paper towel to dry.
- Prepare the spice mixture in a medium dized bowl by combining the oil, paprika, cumin, cayenne and salt.
- Add in all the chickpeas to the spice mixture, making sure everyone is in the pool. The spice mixture will not seem like enough but gently tossing the chickpeas in the bowl will get every piece coated just enough.
- Transfer the chickpeas to a parchment lined baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer, taking care not to mound them (they will steam instead of crisp if they are piled on top of one another).
- Bake until golden and crispy, roughly 25 to 35 minutes, tossing once halfway through cooking time.
- Finish with kosher salt after removing from the oven.