Serious Eats: Recipes

French in a Flash: Niçoise Chickpea Chips

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

There's something about Nice. Usually, it seems, food varies by region, but Nice is an inimitable city. To me, it is the Venice of France, with food that is both indigenously iconic, and yet effusively exotic. Afternoon foraging becomes a trip to a bazaar. One corner houses great chickpea crepes called socca. A stall up the cobbled hill proffers battered, fried zucchini flowers, marigold hued, and drenched with lemons squeezed to stubs. Zucchinis are nests stuffed with meat and Provençal vegetables. And instead of pizza, pissaladiere crowned with tangles of sweet onions, olive studs, and anchovy latticework travels in the hands of passersby. It is a place to be hungry.

I am, as I was in Nice, an afternoon snacker. You won't find these crispy, salty, citrusy chickpeas to squirrel into your mouth in the hungry hours between lunch and dinner anywhere in Nice, but the olive oil, the crispy fry, the salt, the lemon, and mostly the chickpeas, evoke the flavor and the fulfillment of Niçoise street food.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the The Secret Ingredient series for Serious Eats.

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