Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Going Garbonzo

On a recent Sunday at the Farmers' Market, Brandon & I spotted something we'd never seen before - fresh garbanzo beans. They were so fresh, they were still tightly clinging to their branches. We couldn't resist the novelty and bought a bunch thinking we could make hummus. Once we got home however, we discovered why most people buy garbanzo beans dried or in cans.

Fresh garbanzo beans are a lot of work.

After painstakingly plucking pods off scratchy, dirt-laden stalks, we still had to shell all the beans. The end result was about two cups of crunchy, green garbanzos. Raw, they tasted like ... well, beans.

"They're green," I said, examining them through the plastic sandwich bag. "Does this mean the hummus will be green?"

Brandon grunted something unintelligible as he tossed them in a pot of water.

Here's what he did:

2 cups garbanzo beans
2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon
"couple globs" of tahini sesame paste
"quite a bit" of olive oil
a pinch of sea salt (or kosher salt)

Boil the garbanzo beans "until you feel they've been boiled enough" (or fork tender). Blend in food processor along with garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and salt, until it reaches a smooth consistency. Season to taste. Serve cold or room temperature, with flatbread or pitas.

Note: I noticed later that the hummus had hardened a bit in the refrigerator, so I suggest reserving some of the cooking liquid and using it to smooth out the hummus after blending it in the food processor.

And in case you're wondering, tahini is a Middle Eastern sesame paste that can be found at specialty food stores.

If you use fresh garbanzo beans as we did, you will find that the hummus is indeed green.

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