Roasted Chickpeas, Stuffed Dates and Mint Medley Tisane

This is a nice pairing. A little salty, a little sweet, but not too much of either. And without talking about it too, too much, both are healthier than the average snack. Lots of fiber and nutrients. Nothing wrong with that.

Both of these items go really well with any mint tea. I happen to have a lot of dried herbs sitting around so I mixed a few together and liked the results.

Mint Medley Tisane

2 Tbsp. (30ml) dried peppermint leaves
1 Tbsp. (15ml) good quality green tea (leave out if you want to keep it caffeine free)
1 Tbsp. (15ml) dried orange peel
1 teaspoon (5ml) anise seed
4 whole cloves
Rose petals (optional)

Other possible additions or substitutions: dried ginger, green cardamom, fennel seed…

I used the whole lot for one pot of tea and steeped it for five minutes. I used a small 12 oz. pot and made multiple infusions.

To inspire contemplation I tossed a few dried rose petals on top.

roses

Roasted Chickpeas (makes approximately 1 cup or 240ml)

You can use any combination of spices you like.  I prefer dehydrated garlic for this recipe because fresh garlic tends to burn and taste bitter when cooked in this way.

1 – 15 oz. can (425g) chickpeas/garbanzos/ceci beans, drained, rinsed and toweled off–you want them nice and dry
2 Tbsp.(30ml)  olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons (7.5ml) garlic salt (the one I have is a combination of sea salt, garlic powder and parsley). I also experimented with a Mediterranean blend consisting of paprika, pepper, cumin, oregano, coriander, garlic and onion. If using a premixed spice blend that doesn’t contain salt, add a 1/4 teaspoon (1.25ml) of salt to the mix.

Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the chickpeas with oil and garlic salt.

Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown and crispy.

Serve warm or at room temperature. These should probably be served the day they’re made. I think with time they would loose their crisp.

Mediterranean blend

Stuffed Dates (makes 16 dates)

16 Medjool dates (or other variety)
4 oz. (120g) goat cheese, room temperature
6 Tbsp. (90ml) marscapone cheese
1 Tbsp. (15ml) orange juice
1 tsp. (5ml) orange zest
2 Tbsp. (20ml) fresh mint, julliened (about 6 leaves)–I used a spearmint variety not peppermint (green not purple leaves)
Honey for drizzling
Pistachios–about a handful–roasted and unsalted, roughly chopped

Pit the dates. Make a slit down one side and open like a clam shell.

Blend the cheeses together.

marscapone cheese

Add the orange juice, zest and mint and stir to combine.

Take a tablespoon (15ml) or so of the cheese mixture and fill the dates.

Drizzle with the honey and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.