Cooking Tip: Fresh Garbanzo Beans
“Try a fresh garbanzo bean! Garbanzos—right 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.
Fresh garbanzos come 1-2 per pod, and are usually sold in huge bunches, still on the stalk. Scissors make fast work of removing the pods from the stems. You can eat the beans raw, boil or sauté them. Alternately, you can toss them on the grill. For this method, place as many unpeeled beans you want in a tinfoil packet, sprinkled with salt, pepper and olive oil. Grill for 15-20 minutes over direct heat. Off the grill, open the packet and once cool, pop the beans out of their shells. Mash the cooked beans and use in your favorite hummus recipe, or toss whole in a salad or pasta dish.