Fresh Chickpeas

Jimmy spotted these mystery objects in Manhattan Fruit Exchange yesterday. What? Chickpeas don't come from Goyaland via bags and cans? We asked what we should do with these little bright green gems (a.k.a. garbanzos): Boiling, then roasting was the guy's favorite method. He made many yummy sounds while he described what to do, so I decided to buy a couple of handfuls to try them out.

I did a little research online, and Califresh's website had a few recipes. I decided to try their steaming method, a la edamame, as I figured it would offer the truest taste. They were, honestly and not surprisingly, a little boring.

So, I decided to shuck the cooked chickpeas, then sauté with a little olive oil, pimentón (of course!), and salt. It was a pain in the butt to shuck them (they really seemed to be attached to the shell), and of course I managed to shoot one across the room (too bad I don't have Sookie Stackhouse's vampirically-enhanced sense of smell...it would really help in moments like these). I finally ended up with about a cup of shucked chickpeas, which I sautéed with the other ingredients for about 5 minutes. The pimentón added a nice little roasty flavor, and the chickpeas went from bland to pleasant snack.

If I ever decide to make fresh chickpeas again, I'd prepare them as a nice little appetizer for a dinner party. Perhaps I'd leave them in the shells, boil to cook, then sauté in spices, and serve like edamame.

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