19 July 2011

$5 plus a half hour =

Do you have any idea what these are?

If I hadn't seen the sign at the Greenmarket, I wouldn't have recognized them, at least not from just looking at them. Despite a lifetime of eating chickpeas in various forms, I'd never seen fresh ones before yesterday.

So I bought a pint, for the rather spendy sum of $5. I quizzed my husband when I got home - he didn't recognize them either, and guessed they were soybeans, which the pods slightly resemble. But these pods are smaller, and only have one or two chickpeas inside.

I set to work shelling them - if shell is what you do to chickpeas. Maybe you shuck them, husk them, peel them? (Maybe you call them garbanzos.) Shelling the pint took me a half an hour, and resulted in 3/4 of a cup of little fresh chickpeas, looking kind of like wrinkled peas.

The farmer had said to boil them for a five minutes, so I did that, and tossed them with a pinch of coarse salt and a drizzle of olive oil. And they were seriously good, toothier than a pea, less mealy than a dried cooked chickpea.



But $5 and a half hour for a small side dish for two adults? I'm unlikely to buy them again.

12 comments:

Harriet M. Welsch said...

With any luck, I should be walking through said greenmarket (and also by your office) on my way to and from work from my temporary digs. I am looking forward to it, but will maybe forego the chickpeas.

kathy a. said...

they look wonderful. i love garbanzos, but usually get them in a can; just bought some dried ones to experiment with. i don't see why these couldn't be sold shelled and fresh frozen, like edamame. or those green peas that i don't like. somebody is growing and harvesting these for the cans, no?

Magpie said...

yes kathy, someone's harvesting them for the cans. but those are riper - they've turned brown and the shells get drier and papery (only a few of mine were like that). they're much easier to shell when dry, and it can probably be done mechanically.

Schadenfreude Warehouse said...

I'll bet they would have made excellent hummus!

slouchy said...

I thought they were grapes, albeit sickly looking ones. That'll learn me.

Bibliomama said...

I ate a fresh fig for the first time a couple of weeks ago (I know that's not as exciting). I would definitely have to try the fresh chick peas once.

Julia said...

One of my favorite incidents from when my eldest was an animal-obsessed preschooler was the day we went to the Bronx Zoo. A peacock strutted by, followed by his whole family.

Eldest observed, "Peacock... pea hen.. pea chicks... CHICK PEAS!"

But no, I never would have recognized them in the pod.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That's what I was thinking as I read this!

mayberry said...

I couldn't have guessed either. Last year our CSA sent us edamame still on the plant. That was a lot of work and we didn't even have to shell them!

Mental P Mama said...

Wow. Never seen those before...just give me my Goya.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

How fascinating. Try anything once, right?

I am longing for your farmer's market right now. All the luxurious fruits and veggies are trucked to our market from the other side of the mountains, so we have to spend $3 for a pint of cherry tomatoes. Or raspberries. Sigh.

nonlineargirl said...

The pods look like the inner pods of fava beans (which I shelled tonight for dinner). A lot of work, but tasty in both cases.