Have you ever seen fresh garbanzo beans (chickpeas) in their shell?
I hadn’t, until one day a couple of weeks ago when I found these at my local market. Being naturally curious about new and unusual foods, I had to buy them and take them home. After all, garbanzos are a wonderful legume, very nutritious and useful for many different types of cuisine.
How do you cook fresh garbanzo beans? Chatting with the green grocer at the market I learned you can steam them either in their shell, or shell them first. I decided to steam them in the shell in order to make them easier to peel. First, I rinsed them in a colander. Next, I placed them in a small saucepan with about 1/2″ of water, covered the pan, and turned up the heat. I let them steam for about 15 minutes and when they were done, placed them back in the colander. Once they were cool enough to handle, I peeled them just like fresh peas, and placed the delicate pale green beans in a small bowl for my simple salad.
The dressing? A drizzle of olive oil, a little lemon juice, salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne. Simple and delicious. What could be better on an early spring afternoon?