Friday, March 20, 2009

Vegetable of the Day - Fresh Garbanzo Beans

Canned or dried garbanzo beans are a regular visitor in my kitchen. I love the texture and flavor of these little beans. Did you know that you can also find them under the names ceci, chickepea, Indian pea, ceci bean, bengal gram, kabuli chana, kadale kaalu, sanaga pappu, shimbra, kadala. Judging by the list of names I am going to assume that this a worldwide favorite.

A few years ago, Trader Joe's started carrying fresh (or green) garbanzo beans in the frozen section. I adored these. Fresh garbanzos taste like a cross between a fresh green pea and edamame. Tossed with lemon juice, salt and a bit of olive oil they were a fast side dish. Then disaster struck! Trader Joe's stopped carrying them! I have been searching for them ever since. Last week, while wandering though WinCo I saw a big box of interesting green pods. Upon closer inspection I squealed with joy! (Sidenote: Don't do this in WinCo, there is enough weird stuff going on.) I had finally found fresh garbanzos.

A pound of beans took an hour to shuck. They are well-stuck inside those hairy little pods. All that work resulted in about a cup of beans. But, I have to say, it was worth the work. I boiled these is salted water for about 2 minutes, then tossed with lemon zest and salt. They were fabulous!

Have you ever tried these?
What is your favorite way to eat garbanzo beans?

1 comment:

  1. My favorite way to use chick peas is making humus. I have a delicious recipe from Moosewood Cookbook. I admit I originally had trouble finding tahini and tamari, but the internet prevailed! Eat with homemade flat bread or the delicious flat pretzels found everywhere. My grandson's favorite dipper is a cucumber slice.