Spicy Garbanzos

Y’all… chickpeas are easily one of my favorite things to eat. They’re good so many different ways; roasted, pan cooked, fried, raw, on salads, in soups, in anything! I love them!

Because I love them so much, I’m always finding new ways to enjoy them. For these ones I’m sharing today, I ate some of them with my breakfast and the rest sat on my counter and I literally ate them all day and finished them off at dinnertime. I was hooked!

Ingredients:
Olive Oil
1 can garbanzos, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds*
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Tahini sauce
Kalamata olives, to taste
2-4 T (yes, tablespoons) butter (I’ll let you be the judge of it!)
Sprig of rosemary
1 tsp, or so, fresh squeezed lemon (about 1/4 of the lemon)

Heat a good swirl of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garbanzo beans and cook for about 10 minutes, adjust heat if they’re cooking a bit too fast – but don’t turn it up if you think they’re cooking too slow… hear me here. 😉

Add the seasonings and stir to combine. I have a couple things to say here… if you’re using olives and salted butter, you might skip the salt and taste it when it’s nearly done to see if you need it. If you do, throw it in there, if not then just skip it. I wish I could tell you how much tahini to use – I dipped a butter knife into the jar and whatever was on it is what I swirled all over the beans; super scientific guess would be a teaspoon? Half? I dunno. At the same time, because the olives were next to the tahini in the fridge, I decided they should go in there, too, and so I lived boldly with my love for olives and tossed them in there.

By now, the beans should be fairly crisp and they’ve taken on all that good flavor from the spices – we add the butter, in pats all over the pan. I did 4 tablespoons, but I might’ve only done three had I gone a bit slower. Even then, some folks might find it too rich, but I love butter soooooo… I did not. And a sprig of rosemary if you have it – you won’t regret this decision. Continue to stir while the butter browns being careful not to burn it – about 2 minutes.

To serve, give it a squeeze of lemon juice fresh from a lemon. I didn’t have a lemon so I didn’t do it, but I wished I had a lemon because I would’ve done it. I put an egg on top of mine and enjoyed it that way and I also ate them plain. If you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet (using a butter alternative), the fennel mixed with the meaty texture of the beans is almost like enjoying some breakfast sausage! Enjoy!

*get out that mortar and pestle to crush the fennel seeds! It releases all kinds of fresh oils and spicy notes from the seed. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can put them in a resealable bag and beat the tar of of them with a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin. Also, if you have a grinder (a spice one or any other kind – I’m not here to judge you!), that will work just fine, too! Only crush or grind what you need because it loses its flavor pretty quickly.

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