Pickle-Licious

Not everyone grooves on desserts. It’s a tough reality to accept, but I get it: Some sweet teeth are never properly developed, for whatever reason, which allows certain people to drift through life without craving a single cupcake or brownie. Truly. Despite my penchant for the more sugary side of cooking, I can empathize with this small but largely misunderstood crowd. My own sweet tooth is so deeply rooted, so extreme, that I seem to have developed a salt tooth that’s just as persistent in making its desires known. As a wee tot, before I could even see above the kitchen counters, you might see a tiny hand pop up out of no where, searching blindly for the hors d’oeuvre platter than undoubtedly contained a small mountain of briny jumbo olives. Savoring those enormous salt bombs, I relished they way they fit perfectly over each small finger, capping my stubby paw with a very fetching olive manicure.

Should a plate of pickles be available to garnish sandwiches at a luncheon, others knew that any toppers should be selected right away, before the bulk of those gherkins curiously vanished over the course of the meal. Fresh, lightly soured dill pickles were always the best, still tasting more of cucumber than aged pickle, thoroughly infused with herbs and licked with salt. A good pickle is still hard to find, but that unique pickle flavor is surprisingly easy to replicate, even when there are no cucumbers to be found.

The roasted chickpea craze that swept the blogs has died down a bit, but it seemed to me that there was still a whole lot of unexplored territory to cover with these humble beans. Like any other versatile snack food, the flavor possibilities are endless, and so the serendipitous sighting of pickle-flavored potato chips got my wheels turning again…

To impart that characteristic vinegary bite, cooked chickpeas are soaked in a classic pickle brine overnight before being slowly roasted to crunchy perfection. A full battery of herbs and spices join the mix, creating a balanced flavor profile that’s far more satisfying than your average salty snack. Full of good stuff like fiber and protein, a handful will happily keep hunger at bay, and help you resist the urge to plunge into the pickle jar for a direct injection of sodium.

Even if sugar is not your racket, I still have your number… I’m secretly a salt fiend too, after all.

Dill Pickle Chickpea Crunchies

Basic Brine:

1/2 Cup Cold Water
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 – 3 Teaspoons Light Agave Nectar

3 Cups Cooked Chickpeas

Seasonings:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Roughly Chopped Fresh Dill
3 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon Celery Seed
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

Place all of the ingredients for the brine in a medium-sized jar, including the chickpeas, shake it up, and place it in the fridge. Allow the brine mixture to infuse into the beans for 12 – 24 hours. As one might presume, the longer the chickpeas soak, the more strongly they’ll be flavored with vinegar. It’s up to you whether that’s a good or bad thing. Bear in mind that the bite will mellow significantly after a trip to the oven, so don’t be afraid of having very vinegary beans at this stage.

Once the chickpeas have been “quick pickled,” drain them thoroughly but do not rinse. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees while you measure out and prep the seasonings. Toss the chickpeas into a bowl along with the oil and all of the aromatics, stirring so that every last bean is thoroughly coated. Transfer to a jellyroll pan or large baking dish (anything with sides- These edible marbles will want to roll right out otherwise) and spread them evenly in one layer.

Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, stirring every 15 or so, until the chickpeas have shrunken in size and are golden brown, with darker spots in some areas. It can be hard to tell when they’re done since the chickpeas will continue to crisp up as they cool, but listen closely and they should rattle when you shake the pan. Remove from heat and let cool completely before snacking and/or storing in an airtight container.

Makes 1 1/2 – 2 Cups Chickpea Crunchies

Printable Recipe

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40 thoughts on “Pickle-Licious

  1. Thanks so much for the recipe Hannah;I love chickpeas and would love to try them with dill and other ingredients in your recipe.Btw, the salad in my blog,it was not made of coconut,but of kohlrabi;the coconut was in the sauce..Finnish is a hard language for google translator……

  2. ooh how creative!! those sounds so yummy and interesting!! I definitely have a sweet tooth — but being on the Body Ecology Diet ((NO sugar whatsoever)) has really made my salt tooth develop:) These would be perfect! thanks for sharing!

  3. Hannah, thanks for another great recipe! I’ve been making “pickle fries” for my roommates the past year and these are such a more versatile and healthy alternative. I can’t wait to snack on them or top them on salads. I also like your method of overnight marinating. I’ve always included a large splash of “pickle juice” (from the jar) in my marinade and done it for about half an hour, but I’m sure you achieve far greater flavor. Great thinking!

  4. These look crazy good. What a coincidence that I just opened this post and I happen to be writing the recipe round-up for Chic Vegan right now…it is based on snacks. This is SOOOO going into the round-up!!! The post will go live tomorrow morn. Thanks Hannah!

    1. Uncanny timing, indeed! I’m thrilled that my crunchies would make the cut, and am looking forward to your other snacking suggestions. Your roundups are always so inspiring, so thank YOU! :)

  5. No way, pickle flavored roasted chickpeas?! I love love love it! Pickle chips are my favorite; I cannot wait to try these!

  6. I’m definitely a secret salt fiend too, and dill pickles have long been one of my favorite ways to indulge my salt cravings! I’ve never had dill pickle chips but I’ve been intrigued…and I definitely want to try your roasted chickpea version. Once again, I am blown away by your creativity!

  7. Pickle-flavored chickpeas? OH MAN. My salt and vinegar tooth is definitely head and shoulders above my sweet tooth, so I may end up eating an entire batch of these sometimes soon. :)

  8. yesssssss. these will be perfect for my salt and sour tooth! i am going through a crazy eat a bottle of indian pickle a week things right now. leave it to you to create this magic with roasted chickpeas!

  9. I love the recipe for this and would have so much fun trying these out. I recently tried making beet chips and then kale chips. I love chickpeas and how you seasoned them so these should make a great snack.

  10. My darling wondrous cross-ocean sister-Hannah, once more we are entwined in not only our hearts but our palates! As much as I adore all things sweet, pickles are another of my deepest loves, and I can quite happily go through a jar of baby gherkins in one sitting. So in love with this recipe! Sounds perfect, perfect.

  11. I’ve never understood people with an underdeveloped sweet tooth. But to be honest, I’m pretty much a sweet/salty equal opportunist. And a pickle fiend. LOVE these!

  12. These sound (and look) terrific. I’m also one of those people who prefers salt to sugar. Cheese over chocolate any day! And fortunately, I love chickpeas. I’ll have to fish around for some of those spices to give this a try.

  13. These are delicious! I make them a couple times a week, an added hint for someone who doesn’t want to brine them overnight, I soak my beans for 10-15 minutes in straight apple cider vinegar, drain and reserve the vinegar, toss the beans with all the dry ingredients, and cook at an increased heat of 400, then every 10-15 minutes when I check and shake the beans, I use a spritzer to spray the beans with more ACV, they come out nice, crispy and dill pickle-ey tart! Great recipe! Thanks so much!

  14. These are amazing. I’m doing the “clean” cleanse and needed a salty snack and these fit the bill perfectly! (For other clean cleansers, sub coconut nectar for the agave) My husband (also cleansing) and my 3 year old (definitely NOT cleansing!) and I polished off a batch in 2 days. My kid also doesn’t like pickles, for the record, but asks for these as a snack! They are fantastic. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Oh, I forgot to mention another substitution for the cleanse: instead of white vinegar, I used some pickle juice from “Bubbies” kosher dill pickles which is gluten free.

      1. Thank you so much for sharing, Stephanie! Going straight to the source and using pickle brine is a really good idea for infusing more flavor. Happy to hear you’re enjoying the recipe!

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