Fried Chickpeas with Mint and Bing Cherries

I went to dinner with a couple friends at Ceia, a new-ish restaurant in town that features coastal European dishes. Everything was so fresh and delicious, from the crispy anchovies, to the braised pork tenderloin wrapped in pork belly accompanied by clams and a salad of mixed greens, fennel, and citrus. One of the appetizers we got was fried chickpeas with mint and golden raisins. I’ve been feeling uncreative about what to bring to tonight’s cookout – until I realized how easy it’d be to recreate some of last night’s tastiness.

Of course it’s not quite the same as the restaurant’s rendition, but it’s still pretty damn good! I used two cans of Eden Organics chickpeas (rinsed and drained), and fried/sauteed them in a bit of coconut oil and preserved lemon syrup (from a batch I just made – more on in a later post) and sea salt. Chopped up dried bing cherries and mint from my garden, threw that in the mix and cooked on high for about 10 minutes, or until they browned. You could definitely substitute lemon juice for the preserved lemon syrup (just added a bit of sweetness), and you could also use butter instead of coconut oil.  Super fast! Once you’re done cooking them, it might be a good idea to spread them out on a cookie sheet to cool for a couple minutes.

Next time, I’ll double or triple the recipe so there’s enough to last through a party or to snack on throughout the week.

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