Roasted Smoky Chickpeas + Tomatoes Over Saffron Rice

I just got back from a wonderful wonderful trip to Napa. A family friend of ours -- the Staglin Family -- puts on an amazing fundraiser for Brain Health. This year was the 22nd Annual Music Festival. It's such a great experience: there's a scientific symposium, a wine tasting (with 85 of the top wineries in Napa), a concert (this time it was Michael Franti), and a beautiful dinner.

It was a hot to say the least, but I barely even noticed because I was just so immersed in the wine, the chatter and the music. 

Upon landing back in San Diego, after such a fun weekend, it was nice to see some rain. The unexpected storms (yes, even the weather (wo)man didn't predict this one) is always the best kind. I still haven't seen any lightning or heard any thunder, but I'm still happy. 

Yesterday I was experimenting in the kitchen with aquafaba (the liquid inside a can of garbanzo beans) again. This time I made little meringue cookies. They turned out perfect. Check my instagram for deets. 

I had an entire can of chickpeas left and decided to make something Indian style. I decided that smoked paprika was the best fit for tomatoes and chickpeas. With just a touch of sweetness, spice and some sea salt, the dish came out perfect. 

I've said in the past that it's important to keep rice on hand. Whether you make it weekly or daily in a rice cooker or you're feeling lazy and keep it frozen, doesn't matter; just always keep white or brown rice handy. This dish would be GREAT over pasta as well. 

Roasted Smoky Chickpeas and Tomatoes Recipe

Yields 2 main dish servings or 4 side dishes


  • 2-3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed

  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika*

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar or sugar

  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained

  • 1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes

  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil or cilantro, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.

  2. Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl.

  3. Add beans, tomatoes, and 1/4 cup cilantro to remaining spiced oil mixture; toss to coat.

  4. Sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper.

  5. Roast beans about 20 minutes.

  6. Cook up some white or brown rice or use already cooked rice. Divide rice among the plates.

  7. Spoon bean mixture over rice. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup fresh cilantro.


  • 3 cups of already cooked brown or white rice

  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron 

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


  1. Cook rice as you wish (microwaveable rice, rice cooker, etc.)

  2. Add saffron and olive oil. Mix well.

This dish is GREAT for dinners in when you're super busy and don't have much time to put a gourmet meal together. Trust me, the family will love it and think you spent hours cooking it.