Spanish Rice with Crispy Pimenton Chickpeas

These past two months, Mag Club ESP has been in full effect. And what was on the menu? Beans, beans, and nothing but beans.

At Julie’s, we had falafel, spicy black bean dip, two types of lentils, white bean and cabbage salad, and hummus. A few weeks ago at Michelle’s, the spread was a little more diverse, but no sooner had I whipped out my Tupperware of Spanish Rice with Crispy Chickpeas than I noticed Kate’s bowl of roasted chickpeas in full crunchy glory sitting on the coffee table right before me.

Roasted chickpeas have become a potluck go-to of mine recently, and clearly Kate was onto the same thing. As we waited for the remaining Mag Clubbers to arrive, the contents of the chickpea bowl quickly disappeared (mainly, into Jordana’s mouth). Kate had chosen cumin, while I had dusted mine in paprika, but no matter what you put on them, crispy chickpeas never cease to be an amazingly addictive snack.

For this particular Mag Club offering, I ended up whipping together some Spanish rice and tossing it together with the smoky chickpeas. The leftovers made a great side dish for Mussels with Chorizo and Cherry Tomatoes, and if you added a few more veggies, it would be a totally legit vegetarian main course.

From my kitchen, inhaling crispy chickpeas, to yours,



Spanish Rice with Crispy Pimenton Chickpeas
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup long grain basmati rice
8 ounces (1 cup) tomato sauce
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups water
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup crispy pimenton chickpeas (recipe follows)

In a small Dutch oven or lidded saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Saute the onion until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Add the rice and toss around in the onion-oil mixture until combined. Carefully pour in the tomato sauce, followed by the paprika and salt. Saute for 2 minutes to help the tomato sauce reduce slightly. Then add the water and bring to a boil. Once bubbling, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes in the pan. Uncover, fluff with a fork, add the lemon juice, and taste for seasoning. The rice should have a little bit of a bite to it–similar to paella. Add more salt if necessary. Top with the crispy chickpeas (recipe follows) and garnish with thyme or parsley (optional).

Crispy Pimenton Chickpeas
Makes 4 cups

Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (4 cups), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons sweet paprika
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika (pimenton)
½ teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Use a dish towel or a salad spinner to make sure the chickpeas are as dry as possible. Lay them flat on a non-stick baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then shake to redistribute, and cook for 10 minutes more. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add the roasted chickpeas and toss until well coated. Return the chickpeas to the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 5 more minutes, until very fragrant. Serve warm or at room temperature as a table snack, or use them to top Spanish rice!