When it comes to coaxing your kids into eating legumes, you could do worse than taking inspiration from a chef who named his flagship restaurant the Italian equivalent of “Daddy” (the restaurant would be Babbo. The chef would be Mario Batali). This is a rip off (or what I prefer to call a riff off, as I didn’t have the recipe and tweaked it a bit) of Babbo’s freebie amuse bouche (and if Babbo is giving it away each and every diner, that’s the first sign that this is an incredibly cheap dish to make. In fact, I think Mario was serving this up at his first solo restaurant Po in the West Village before he broke out). While he likely uses dried chickpeas, most people likely gravitate toward the canned version, as I do. Not only did my omnivore daughter Violet groove on this, but so did my monovore son Desmond, whose idea of an exotic dish is penne dressed with olive oil and salt. The kids love this. The adults love this (I love how it tastes all roasty and rich and salty and sweet and tangy and fresh, for about 5 bucks worth of ingredients). The wallet loves this.
Roasted Chickpea Bruschetta
2 cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) drained
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
3/4 cup roughly chopped olives (i used a mix of some good green ones filled out with super cheap jarred martini-style and jarred kalamatas)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Spread the chickpeas on a cookie/baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix it all up. Roast in an oven preheated at 450 for 20 minutes or so, or until golden brown. In a large bowl, mix with chopped parsley, olives, garlic, and balsamic. Serve on toasted slices of baguette. The spherical little beans tend to roll off the bread if you’re eating too hastily, but chasing down stray chickpeas makes it all the more fun.