In "The Tastemakers: Why we're crazy for cupcakes but fed up with fondue", author David Sax explores food trends. I admit to wondering about the title - aren't cupcakes starting to be "yesterday"? Fed up with fondue?  It doesn't take too long to find sources that claim that fondue is experiencing a revival. Nonetheless, he offers an engaging analysis of trendsetting. As noted by @thekitchn, roasted legumes have been trending for at least the last year. (Perhaps part of the gluten-free trend?) Recipes tend to focus on the use of chickpeas (garbanzo) or edamame - and recipes are offered here.

Main ingredient:

  • for chickpeas, most recipes begin with canned beans that need to be drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • canned beans can be very high in sodium; low sodium can be found in health food stores, or check out the PC Blue Menu line
  • I finally decided to follow the advice of my favourite chef and started from scratch with dry beans - details below
  • recipes referring to canned beans are going to specify a 15 oz can (USA) or in Canada a 540 ml / 19 oz can. The rule of thumb seems to be that a can of beans, once drained will yield about 1.5 cups of cooked beans. A cup of dry chickpeas should yield about 3 cups cooked - but there are variables. I have decided that recipes with beans tend to be forgiving with respect to precise measures.
  • edamame is now easy to find in frozen foods - a great staple to have on hand

Beans from scratch:

  • the dried beans need to soak for 8-12 hours - overnight is easiest
  • for the recipe below, I needed about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas so I soaked a good cup of dry beans; gave them a quick rinse and put them in the large saucepan I planned to use next day to cook them; added enough water to cover by 3-4 inches.
  • next day I drained and rinsed them again and added them back to the pan. They can be cooked with water or stock, with added salt, garlic, herbs or mirepoix. (I did a diluted stock and a fair bit of garlic. Did not add salt since the stock concentrate introduced some sodium.) Bring it to a boil, skim off foam, and reduce heat to a medium simmer, uncovered, for 30-60 minutes (this depends on the bean). Taste along the way until they reach desired consistency. Add more liquid if it reduces too much. 
  • Drain and cool before roasting. Cooked beans can be refrigerated or even frozen.
  • Result? undeniable that this is more "work" than opening a can of beans - but the revelation is - the taste of the bean from the can absolutely does not stand up to the taste of the bean from scratch. I'll still keep canned beans in the cupboard, but will no longer shy away from from using dry.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas with Rosemary & Brown Sugar

(From Cookin' Canuck, with edits)

Preheat oven to 350 F

Empty 2 cans of chickpeas into strainer. Rinse and drain very well. Dry the chickpeas on a large sheet of paper towel, with another laid over top. Pat gently to remove excess water. If using reconstituted / cooked beans use about 3 cups cooked, and dry as necessary.

Toss chickpeas with 2 TB olive oil and 1/2 tsp kosher salt and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 40-50 minutes or until chickpeas are golden brown and rattle when the baking sheet is shaken. Meanwhile, mix ingredients below in bowl large enough to accept chickpeas once out of the oven.

2 TB packed brown sugar
2 TB chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Pour the roasted chickpeas (right out of the oven) into the bowl and toss with the brown sugar mixture. Cool completely - they will become more crisp. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Dry Roasted Edamame with Cranberries (Source)

1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries

I always double, or triple this. Heat oven to 425 F. Mix edamame, salt and oil. Roast, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, 20 -22 minutes. Let cool. Toss with cranberries. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days (assuming it lasts that long).

I don't always wait until these are thawed, in which case they need to roast a bit longer. I pull it from the oven when the edamame have a nice toasty look. As with all roasted legumes, they become more crisp as they cool and "dry". Sometimes I leave it out for hours - even overnight before storing in a container. This recipe results in a chewy-crispy snack.

Tipreduced sugar Craisins are now available.

Notes and Tips...

  • Baking sheet - for these recipes use a baking sheet (with low sides)
  • Non-stick foil - makes clean up easier
  • Crunch - linked to roast time; as desired; for youngsters or oldsters a chewy-crunch may be preferred to a super crisp crunch
  • Salt - as desired
  • Olive oils - for the roasting, I used a typical olive oil, but for the rosemary mixture, I used my best, most tasty olive oil
  • More ideas - @thekitchn offers 15 more recipes
  • Also "trending" is the Oakville-based vegan cookbook sensation - Angela Liddon - of Oh She Glows. Her book and site offer several roasted legume recipes. In fact the internet offers an abundance even with simple searches.
  • Hostess Gift - pick up some treat bags from the Bulk Barn


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