Roasted Spicy Chickpeas & Smashed Avocado


t is only in writing this now that I realise how few ingredients are in such a winning recipe and one that also looks so aesthetically pleasing and tempting to devour. This recipe is so time efficient and labour friendly but it is a really lovely mix of flavours and textures. Not to mention (again) that it is rather pretty with all the colours. A great quick and pleasing fix for an impromptu guest of a date night that you’d rather be buying take-out for.

I sometimes end up cooking with ingredient combinations simply because they look beautiful together. And this one helpfully also taste amazing. Creamy rich and vibrant avocado topped with crunchy and spicy ‘pop corn’ like chickpeas.

I’d also highly recommend making a double batch of chickpeas and keeping some aside for lunches or snacking when these cool and crisp up. They make a good nibble with a glass of bubbly. The avo/guacamole mixture and the chickpeas also makes a great open sandwich topping on toasted rye or soda bread. Or simply with friend halloumi or stuffed in a burger bun. The options are endless!!!

Serves 2

  • 1 x can chick peas
  • 2 x ripe avocados
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, chilli flakes
  • 1 large handful pumpkin seeds
  • 2 x salmon fillets
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Start by draining the chickpeas and rinsing. Dry off as much excess moisture as you can and pat dry with kitchen towel (don’t worry too much about this).
  3. Tip them into a bowl and add the ground spices, salt and pepper and a good splash of sunflower oil and toss to combine.
  4. Tip onto a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes (cooking time will depend on the size of peas). Check during cooking and toss them around. They should be roasted, golden and turning crisp.
  5. Meanwhile, mash the avocado in a bowl until smooth. Add all but a handful of the coriander, the juice of half the lemon and some seasoning. Mash together then set aside.
  6. When the chickpeas are ready, remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  7. Heat a frying pan until hot and add the pumpkin seeds (dry pan). Toast until they start to turn brown and make a popping sound. Remove from the heat when this happens and add them to the chickpeas. Heat the pan again hot, almost smoking. Season the salmon and then add to the pan skin side down to crisp the skin. After 30 seconds or so, turn to sear the flesh side. Sear the edges too then pop the salmon into the oven and cook for 7 minutes.
  8. Add the final handful of coriander to the chickpeas when they have cooled slightly.
  9. When the salmon is ready, plate up! Place half the avocado in the middle of your serving dish and top with half the chickpeas. Add the salmon on top and serve with a good wedge of lemon for squeezing. (You can also serve this with a dollop of yoghurt if the spices are a bit punchy).