taro root is hairy and funky on the outside but pretty swirly wiggly purple and white on the inside. the first time i had taro was in some kind of dessert bun at a friend’s house, but most recently i’ve had them in chip form. eric and i were on vacation last year and we ordered about half the menu at nombe, a freaking delicious izakaya restaurant in the mission district of san francisco (where we also saw a flyer for a staged version of hedwig and the angry inch–we had tickets before dinner was over <3). the taro chips and edamame hummus were amaze, and i knew i needed to make my own version when i saw them in the store. i went with the smallest of the large roots and decided to do a kind of mashed chickpea dip (not quite hummus) to go with them.
all you need for the chips is taro root, olive oil, salt and pepper. preheat your oven to 400°F and slice the root really thin–most recipes recommend about 1/16″. i used a mandolin, but if you have awesome knife skills or a bitchin food processor, go with that instead. now arrange your slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. bake them for 5-8 minutes on each side–your time will vary depending on thickness. the really thin ones will only take about 3 or 4 minutes on each side.
now the dippins…
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2.5T olive oil
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1t lemon juice
fry up the garlic in the oil for about a minute until it loses the raw garlic edge, and then dump in the chickpeas. let those cook on medium heat for a few minutes just until they’re nice and hot, and then mash them down with a fork. season with the salt, pepper and lemon juice and it’s ready!