"Try a fresh garbanzo bean! Garbanzosright here! called the woman at the Flora Bella Farm stand at the Hollywood Farmers Market. She popped a green oval pod off the branch and showed customers how to break into it. Bright green, sweet and crunchy, the fresh bean bares little resemblance to the yellowy soft ones from a can.
J. snip, snip, snips
Fresh garbanzos come 1-2 per pod, and are usually sold in huge bunches, still on the stalk. For $5, we walked off with an enormous armload. With J's help, scissors made fast work of removing the pods from the stems. As you can see, we ended up with two huge bowlfuls--enough to freeze some, toss some in the fridge, and still eat a sizable portion that night.
We used the cooked beans in a grilled zucchini and tomato panzanella (basically, bread salad), enjoying the smoky grill flavor and the still present crunch.
You can also saute the buggers. Last night, after shelling, I added a large handful of beans to my pan full of cubed summer squash, potatos and fennel. After just 10 minutes over medium-high heat, they were good to go--similar in texture as when grilled, but without the smoky flavor. Next up I'm planning some "fresh" hummus....who knew?