We found these at our local H Mart. We were drawn in by their fuzzy, pale green beauty and pleasantly surprised to discover that they were old favorites in an unfamiliar form. One of the nice things about moving to PA is being able to visit local farms. This time we found something special in the local market. These fresh garbanzo beans were a wonderful reminder of how beautiful our food can be right off the vine.
Garbanzo beans are quite possibly the most popular legume in the world. There are two basic types. Desi garbanzos are smaller seeds with a thick, irregular skin that ranges in color from beige to black. Kabuli garbanzos are larger and lighter in color, usually appearing in creamy shades of beige and tan. Chick peas are typically a spring crop, although the seeds are easy to sprout at home on a windowsill. They are beneficial to a garden because they help deposit nitrogen into the soil without the use of fertilizer.
Chick peas are high in protein with fiber and folate. The seeds can be used fresh, dried, or ground as a flour. The young plants can be sauteed and eaten as a vegetable. The beans are hearty and satisfying and have many different uses in the kitchen. Although hummus is practically synonomous with garbanzos, they are found in many classic regional recipes such as socca, panelle, halo halo, kabuli chana dal, and falafel.