The Roman orator Cicero is said to have gotten his family name from this humble legume, widely known and eaten since well before the rise of the Roman Empire. In fact, the chickpea was born in the Middle East, likely ancient Turkey, and is now grown in Asia, Australia and the Americas. 


Of all of the beans used in cooking, chickpeas are one of the most versatile. The rust-colored canned chickpeas used to make hummus are only one of many manifestations of these nutty, floury peas (in the Arabic world, the word “hummus” is used to refer to the chickpea itself). Chickpea flour, as found in this recipe, is increasingly popular; dried red and black chickpeas are available at specialty and Indian markets; and then there are fresh ceci. Simply remove the peas from their casing like you would favas and prepare like you would peas. 


At Babbo, we start every meal with ceci bruschette. It’s a supremely delicious way to start an evening.