We've been eating a lot of beans. I cook my fennel roasted garbanzo beans at least a couple times per week. They're terrifyingly addictive. No, they do not contain MSG (unlike the sausage I accidentally bought for the Man the other day that was promptly disposed of) but I warn you- once you start...
I admit, my favorite way to eat these garbanzos is straight out of the pan while standing at the counter- an oven mitt on one hand, and a spoon in the other. The caramelized garlic halves, sweet shallots, creamy beans... I can't resist. But in the event that such behavior isn't permissible, they pair very well with a variety of other things that would turn this clandestine counter snack into a delightful meal at the table. Broccoli rabe would certainly make a great match for my roasted garbanzos, as would kale, chard, or even radicchio. Serve that with chicken or fish and you have yourself a meal fit for company.
Chock-full of protein and fiber, garbanzo beans are a great choice to keep you going during a busy day. When it comes to beans, you can always soak and cook your own, but I rarely have the time or forethought. I love the canned beans from Eden Organic, and always have them in my pantry. Eden soaks their beans overnight, and cooks them with a piece of Kombu seaweed to help tenderize the beans and aid in digestibility. (No, the beans do not taste like seaweed!) And don't worry, Eden uses a BPA-free lining in their cans. Vitacost.com is a great cost-effective source for organic pantry staples, and right now Eden Organic garbanzos are less than $2.50 per 15 ounce can.
If you happen to have more self-restraint than I do and find yourself with leftovers, simply leave the beans in their roasting pan. Give them a stir the next day and pop the uncovered pan into a 400 degree oven until hot. Unless of course you've already devoured them right out of the fridge... they're good that way too.
I never have any extra fennel-infused oil after gobbling up the beans (see lack of bean restraint above), but if you do, save it in a jar because it's delicious drizzled on almost anything!
FENNEL ROASTED GARBANZO BEANS
- 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 5-10 cloves of garlic, halved
- about 4 shallots, sliced
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup fennel seeds
- about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (depending on the size of your dish—you want a little layer of olive oil at the bottom)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a medium baking dish (any kind will do) combine the beans, garlic, shallots, bay leaves, fennel seeds, and olive oil. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and pepper, toss, and cover with foil. Roast for 30 minutes. Uncover, and roast for 20 more minutes, stirring once or twice. Discard bay leaves.