Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Roasted Chickpeas, Broccoli Rabe, and Grape Tomatoes

 This winter I fell head over heels for a smokin’ hot oven.  Asking for nothing in return, it beautifully bronzed my vegetables, and provided heated for my house.  But spring sprang right into mid-summer this year, and suddenly I knew my days with this hottie were numbered.  Come mid-July, when I am already roasting hot myself, I won’t even want to touch it.  For now though, I’m giving my oven some more lovin’. 
Roasted vegetables really are the way to go.  I can’t say it enough about them.  Being able to enjoy potato-chip-like-crunchiness of the broccoli rabe leaves, along with the silkiness of the roasted chickpeas at the same time shouldn’t happen.  But with roasting, it does.  Roasting rewards you twice by encouraging you to eat more veggies because they are healthy and delicious.  Plus, you can keep the vibrant color and flavor that you often lose with boiling or blanching.  Simple seasonings upgrade the flavor even further.  Rosemary livened up my grape tomatoes with notes of fresh-cut pine and squeezed citrus.   The taste was earthy, yet sophisticated.
Although it was vegetarian, you could easily pair this with a grilled chicken breast or tuna steak.   Colorful, texturally diverse, and wildly tasty, I toast this roast!
Roasted Chickpeas, Broccoli Rabe, and Grape Tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
About ½ a bunch broccoli rabe, remove stems
2/3 cup (about 5 oz) grape tomatoes, sliced in half
¼ cup olive oil
1 heaping tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp – 1 tsp Salt and pepper

1.       Preheat oven to 400˚F. 
2.       Rinse and prepare broccoli rabe and tomatoes.  Dry off broccoli rabe.
3.       Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. 
4.       Toss to coat completely with oil. 
5.       Arrange mixture on baking/cookie sheet.  **If possible, lay leafy parts of broccoli rabe on top of other ingredients (not touching the bottom of the sheet pan), so they will be less likely to burn.
6.       Roast for about 15-20 minutes, or until leafy greens are crispy, and chickpeas have a golden shell.
Serves about 2.