The chickpea thing is completely new. One of my friends simmered them with tomatoes, peppers, vinegar and saltfish (a Carribean prep). It was so breathtakingly delicious! I had never even bought them before. OK, that dish convinced me I had to explore these nutty, sweet, protein-laden gems. A very simple prep I used over and over during the summertime: toss chickpeas with a little bit of Italian dressing. Done. Extremely satisfying and tasty. (I always used Newman’s Own.)
For convenience, having canned organic chickpeas can’t be beat. I buy the Nature’s Best brand, distributed by Sunflower Markets, which is an off-shoot of SuperValu. 15 oz. of organic chickpeas for 99 cents – not a bad price for convenience. However, soaking dried beans overnight yields better flavor and is far more student-loan friendly! Right now, I have a batch of curried chickpeas, made from some I had soaked overnight – they are HUGE.