If you’re bored with the regular party snacks (ahem, marinated olives and toasted nuts) try this quick and easy antipasto of spicy fried chickpeas. The classic Italian dish requires just a few ingredients, which you may already have on hand — and it offers guests a little something different when you’re entertaining. Pair with a glass of fruity Prosecco. Buon appetito!
Spicy Fried Chickpeas
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas
Olive or canola oil for frying
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 fresh sage leaves
Sea salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse well with cold water. Transfer to paper towels and dry thoroughly.
In a deep, heavy fry pan, pour in olive oil to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a platter or rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and set it next to the stove.
When the oil is ready, add the garlic cloves and fry until they begin to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the chickpeas and sage and fry until crisp and browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Take care when adding the chickpeas as they might spit and sputter due to moisture; cook them in batches if necessary, allowing the oil to return to 375°F before adding the next batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas, garlic and sage to the paper towel-lined platter to drain.
Sprinkle the chickpeas with salt and cayenne, transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
FYI, a medium build German man living in Buffalo NY whom doesn’t appreciate sports is trying out this recipe as a midnight snack.