Baked Chickpeas - Revithia Sto Fourno

by greekfood / Jan 19, 2009 / 3 comments

Like many of the traditional ingredients of the Greek diet the chickpea has a mythological origin ascribed to it. As related in one ancient source, Poseidon was credited with having first introduced the chickpea to the Greeks. Indeed, archaeological evidence for chickpea consumption in Greece points as far back as the Neolithic period. Suffice it to say, the humble chickpea (erevinthos in ancient Greek, revithi in the modern tongue) has been a part of Greek food culture for several millennia.

For the ancient Greeks, the chickpea was a staple food and it was prepared in a number of ways including being cooked in soups or dry-roasted for snacking purposes. The philosopher Plato, writing in the 5th Century B.C., tells us that chickpeas were also commonly served as an accompaniment to wine along with figs and other tragimata (‘desserts’) after the main course of a dinner party. Today, Greeks continue to prepare and consume chickpeas in many different ways, including baking them in earthenware vessels; this method of preparing chickpeas is particularly popular on the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea.

The earthy goodness of this rustic Greek recipe hearkens back to an age when frugal yet wholesome nourishment was an everyday affair and not a dieting fad. If Greek food has a soul, it is to be found in dishes like this one. This recipe results in a tasty, gluten-free, vegetarian dish that can be eaten as a main or side at any mealtime. Bring some of the Aegean sun into your diet by giving this healthy, easy to prepare, and inexpensive entrée a try.


Baked Chickpeas - Revithia Sto Fourno

  Note: Canned or dried chickpeas can be used for this recipe. I often use canned chickpeas as they do not need to be boiled before use.  If you are going to be using dried chickpeas, make sure to wash and soak them overnight so as to soften them up and prepare them for cooking, then boil them for 30 minutes before using them in this recipe.  Also, make sure to rinse the soaked chickpeas well before using them (this applies to the canned varieties as well). 


500 ml (16.9 fl oz.) of chickpeas (canned, or if using dried, soaked overnight and drained)

1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced

4 - 6 whole garlic cloves

60 ml. (1/4 cup) Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 large bay leaf (or 2 small ones)

15 ml (1 generous tbsp.) dried savory (or dried marjoram)

5 ml.  (tsp.) of dried thyme leaves

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325° F (160°C).

2. Add chickpeas, olive oil and 1 cup of water to a small high-walled earthenware/pyrex baking vessel. Sprinkle half of the dried savory, all of the thyme leaves, some salt, and pepper over the chickpeas and mix slightly to disperse the herbs and seasonings. Then, arrange the sliced onion overtop of the chickpeas and sprinkle the remaining dried savory on top of it.

3. Cover the baking vessel with a lid or some aluminum foil and place it in oven. Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours then remove from oven and let stand to cool slightly (5 – 10 minutes) while still covered. Remove lid/cover, add lemon juice, mix chickpeas well and serve.


Pánta Kalá (Always Be Well),

Sam Sotiropoulos

Greek Gourmand™

Greek Food Recipes and Reflections

Copyright © 2008, Sam Sotiropoulos. All Rights Reserved.

Sam Sotiropoulos is the Greek Food Editor for Wandering Educators.

Comments (3)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    15 years 5 months ago

    thanks so much for this delicious recipe, sam! we LOVE greek food, and have made many of your recipes. they ALL TURN OUT!! :) this one? tomorrow's dinner...


    Jessie Voigts


  • monacake

    15 years 5 months ago

    sounds so good! and perfect timing as jessie and i were just talking about bean recipes last week!

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    15 years 4 months ago

    sam - this was delicious!! we'll definitely be making it again. AND, i had made a double recipe bc our family loves chickpeas so much. thank you!!


    Jessie Voigts


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