Hummus is great, but popping a tub and tearing open a bag of pita chips isn’t exactly the most impressive . Go with càlia e simenza instead.
Originating in Sicily, càlia e simenza is a simple street food made of crispy chickpeas and pumpkin seeds. They’re crunchy. They’re garlicky. And they’re awesome—especially with a cold beer and plenty of football. Try the recipe below from Sicilian writer Andrea Camilleri. Yes, the three-stage cooking process may seem time consuming, but this snack is worth the wait. You can skip re-hydrating the chickpeas, if you’re strapped for time. But know that in doing so you’ll lose extra flavor and texture. Serve them hot.
Càlia e Simenza
Recipe adapted from Andrea Camilleri
What You’ll Need
1 cup dried chickpeas
½ cup celery, cut into large pieces
½ cup carrots, cut into large pieces
2 cups onions, cut into large pieces
2 garlic cloves
½ cup pumpkin seeds
Sea salt, to taste
How to Make It
1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in water, covering by 3 inches. The next day, in a medium pot over medium heat, add the beans, celery, carrots, onions, and garlic, and 3 cups water. Cook until the beans are tender, about 55 minutes, adding more water if needed. Allow the beans to cool. Drain and dry the beans with paper towels. Discard the vegetables and garlic.
2. Preheat your oven to 250°F. Transfer chickpeas to half a baking sheet. On the other side, scatter the pumpkin seeds. Bake everything till crunchy, about 20 minutes.
3. In a medium pot, add an inch or so of canola oil. Heat the oil until it reaches a steady 375°F. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas to the oil and fry until very crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas to a plate lined with paper towels. Once cooled slightly, toss them with the pumpkin seeds and sea salt. Makes 2 to 3 servings.