Chickpeas, garbanzo beans, versatile bean of the gods, whichever name you prefer works. As an avid recipe tester, I often play Food Network’s “Chopped” against myself, an entertaining kitchen game when I don’t feel like running to the grocery store to grab those missing ingredients. Quarantine has meant fewer shopping trips and sometimes a less diverse collection of ingredients to work with, but beans tend to be a constant and can act as a great base for appetizers, main dishes, and yes, even desserts. Cans and bags of chickpeas have continued to assert their dominance on the right side of my middle pantry shelf, begging to be transformed. Chickpeas and aquafaba, their partner in crime, also referred to as “bean juice” by skeptics, present a Costco-sized pool of recipe options and tastebud delights. With a few household ingredients and your chickpeas in hand, you can band together to surprise your palette with something different from the repetitive quarantine meals we’ve all resorted to.
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
⅓ cup tahini
¼ cup olive oil (more or less depending on personal preference)
4 cloves diced garlic or generous shakes garlic powder (add more if you are a garlic goer)
½-1 tsp cumin (And I oop. I’m revealing my secret ingredient)
2 tbsp lemon juice (again, adjust as needed)
Salt & pepper (start small and adjust)
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Chill in fridge and pair with anything your heart desires.
Chef’s note: During my 2017 hummus stint, I experimented with what felt like every recipe on the internet. The common thread? Every hummus recipe with cumin positively stood out. It became my secret weapon and I haven’t looked back since.
1 can chickpeas
½ onion, diced
Squeeze of mustard
Squeeze of tahini
Sprinkle of smoked paprika
Sprinkle of garlic powder
Salt & pepper
Smash chickpeas in a small bowl with a fork or potato masher. Stir in all other ingredients. Serve like you would tuna salad, adding sliced avocado on top for a plus.
1 can aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
1 cup granulated white sugar
Whipped cream or whipped topping of your choice (I like using homemade coconut whipped cream)
Various fruits such as berries, mango, and kiwi
Preheat the oven to 250° F.
Whip aquafaba in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment on high for 10 minutes. With the mixer still on, gradually pour in sugar and continue beating for 5 more minutes. When you lift the whisk, stiff meringue peaks should form. If they don’t, whip longer.
On a lined baking sheet, scrape meringue into the center of the pan. With a spatula, spread in a circular motion until you have a 2 inch tall disk. Bake on the middle rack for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The surface should be matte and no longer have any shine. Keep in the closed oven until completely cooled to the touch.
Gently spread whipped cream on top of meringue, leaving an edge like you would a pizza crust. Arrange fruit on top however you’d like, and your pavlova is ready to serve!
Chef’s note: Day old pavlova is a no-go so be sure to make it on the same day you plan to serve.