Rare Treat: Fresh Chickpeas
Discovering the joys of fresh legumes right out of the pod
Two summers ago, I dreamed of growing something I’d had from a street vendor in Turkey: fresh chickpeas. He sold them off the back of a little wagon, a huge bundle festooned with pods. I sat and popped them open, one by one, gobbling the sweet, almost peanut-like morsels inside.So we tried. Dismal failure. And then this summer, we tried again. Success! Why? Because this time, we planted them in spring, before scorching weather set in.
Team Kitchen harvested a few and tried them (that’s Stephanie Dean, our test kitchen coordinator on the left, and Amy Machnak, our recipe editor, on the right).
We didn’t have many, but they tasted nearly as sweet and fresh as I remembered.However, I don’t remember them looking like tiny green brains (see below). Maybe I’d been eating them too fast.
If you’re curious and would like to try these little nuggets, look for them at Mexican and Indian markets starting in early summer. Or grow them yourself! As long as you plant them early, they’re really not so hard to get going.