fresh garbanzo beans

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Chick peas! Who doesn’t love chick peas?

A while ago, I saw someone in a food blog mention fresh garbanzo beans and I thought ‘that’s nice, but I’ve never seen them’ and moved on. A few weeks after, I was in Whole Foods and browsing the produce aisle – purely for entertainment value, since what else is $6.99/lb peppers but laughable? – and there they were, two bins over from the jicama. So I grabbed a handful because if it’s a vegetable, I really will try everything once.

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The pods look a little like stubby edamame pods, but they’re not as easy to open and they’re not nearly as compact. There’s a lot of air in these; most pods had one pea, some had two. Some of the pods had tiny little immature peas, a few had rotten ones, and it wasn’t always obvious by looking at the pod what would be inside. The rotten ones were in vibrant green pods and most of the peas in the sad-looking pods were perfectly fine. I’m sure there’s a more reliable way of picking them out, but I didn’t know it.

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My haul. Shelling these was a lot more work than, say, shelling regular peas. The shiny one down front is missing its little coat.

With all of the work done, the question became what to do with them. I went looking for that blog post, but couldn’t find it; I was pretty sure it suggested making them with pasta, but even a general search for recipes with fresh garbanzos produced very little.

You can – and I did – eat them raw. They’re tasty, a little like edamame but meatier – you can tell they’re chick peas.

In the end, I just made some pasta, sautéed a little garlic in butter, and then threw in the garbanzos for a quick spin.

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Somewhat unrelated, but a good picture to post on a night when it’s approaching the ides of May and I have the heat on:

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A little underripe, but it’s a mango!

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