Cooked chickpeas are the main ingredient, along with sesame paste, in hummus, the popular Middle Eastern spread. Hummus is superb on pita bread, crackers, or vegetable sticks. Before cooking, soak chickpeas for 12 hours, then pressure-cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or boil them for 2 1/2 hours. Chickpeas nearly triple in size after soaking and cooking. They have a unique, pungent flavor when cooked, blending well with garlic and onions. Chickpeas can be roasted as a snack or ground into flour. Canned chickpeas are practical to keep on hand for a last-minute addition to salads, vegetable soups, and stews. As with all canned beans, these should be drained and rinsed well before using.