Make it. Eat it. Love it.
I found them right outside the Damascus gate, which took me into the Arab quarter of the old city in Jerusalem. They were piled up by the kilo on a giant wooden cart. At first I thought they were small fresh almonds. They were the same green color and had the same fuzzy shell, except these were not almonds they were chickpeas.
Inside each small pod were 1 or 2 small green little beans. They were tender and tasted more like a fresh pea then a garbanzo bean and they left a slight nutty after taste.
I used to think that chickpeas were just these dried little crinkly beans or yellowish beans soaking in liquid in a can. I never put much thought into where they actually came from. After devouring them with my husband as we walked through King David’s Tower, I was sold. How can I ever go back to the dried or canned version?
I was traveling up to northern Israel and wasn’t able to buy some to bring home with me. I was beyond upset when I found there were no fresh chickpeas to be found in the shuk here in Be’er Sheva nor in the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. I planned a trip with Katherine to Jerusalem and we took the long walk from the central bus station to the Jaffa gate that took us into the Jewish quarter of the old city. We walked through the long labyrinth that is the Arab shuk and finally made our way to the Damascus gate. There they were, a pile of beautiful fresh, green, fuzzy fresh chickpeas. We bought a kilo (2.2lbs) to share for about 7 1/2 shekels ($2.20), along with white mulberries (those are for another day). I was happy.
I was told the best way to prepare these wonderful little beans were to roast them in a pan with a little bit of salt. I took it a step further. I drizzled the pan with garlic infused olive oil and sprinkled the chickpeas with salt and hot paprika. I cooked them till they started browning. I squeezed a little bit of lemon juice on them and my husband and I ate them just like we would edamame. YUM.
I also made a fresh chickpea hummus/guacamole type dish. Making hummus as I would normally using fresh chickpeas in place of canned. I added avocado and there it was, guacamummus or hummamole, whichever you prefer.
Ingredients (For Roasted Chickpeas)
2 cups unshelled fresh chickpeas
1/2 tablespoon garlic olive oil
Fresh lime juice
Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat.
Sprinkle fresh chickpeas with salt and hot paprika to taste and toss.
Cook chickpeas until starting to brown, tossing occasionally.
Transfer to a bowl and squeeze with fresh lime juice.
Eat as you would edamame.
Ingredients (For Guacamummus/ Hummamole)
1 1/2 cups fresh shelled chickpeas
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tahina
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 large avocado
Fresh lemon juice
In a pan over medium heat toast fresh shelled chickpeas until tender, about 4 minutes
In a food processor combine, toasted chickpeas, garlic, tahina, olive oil, cumin and avocado.
Blend until smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and add fresh lemon juice and salt to taste.
Sprinkle with paprika and serve with pita, chips or crackers.