Posted by: Rachel | September 29, 2012

here chick chick…

It’s not what you may think. Nope. This week it’s all about chickpeas. Now you know that I love the canned or (if I plan ahead enough hahahahaha…) the dried ones in soups, stews, and salads (aren’t we alliterative?) but once a year, for a short period of time, I can find chickpeas fresh in the grocery. Mmmmmmmmmm!!

I can never remember just when to look for these little wonders in the produce aisles, but since I’m sort of a grazer I usually just get lucky and it is a happy surprise. That’s what happened this week. See?plate full of fresh chickpeas

Fresh like these, chickpeas have a flavor sort of like “if spring peas married filberts…”. They taste pale green and nutty, with a slightly crunch texture. Now, of course, you could cook them, but I like to eat them right out of hand. They are only around for a few weeks and I think they hop the border from Mexico. You know, “local” has different meanings in different places, right?

Anyway, if you can find them, snatch some up! You can blanch them and mix them in a “salad” with roasted red peppers and feta, or you can add them to a stir fry with vegetables and/or with chicken, you can roast them (or so I hear) or maybe just toss them with some pasta and a bit of olive oil, but I’m sticking to my “peel and eat” guns.

The slightly fuzzy (and not really edible) pods are maybe an inch long, and are easiest opened by pinching them at whatever the opposite of the “stem-end” is. They open easily and yield one or sometimes two beautiful pale green chickpeas. It was all I could do to take this picture before popping these in my mouth! Mmmmmm.

On a different note, much as fresh chickpeas may taste like spring (oh yes, they do!) I know it is fall, even if the days are still up in the 80s. Know how I can tell? Look at this fine fat fellow.

squirrel with pecan in his mouth

what a nut!

He has been stealing pecans from my neighbor’s tree and running up this tree (right outside my window) with them, literally squirreling them away. He’s very industrious, and I wonder if he knows something I don’t about the coming winter. Like, maybe we’ll actually have winter this year… hmmm.

hummingbird on feeder

hummmmmmm…

The hummers are getting ready to head further south and I will miss them! But the finches are here and I have several pair that are thinking about nesting in the hackberry shrubs. I watched them today as they checked out the neighborhood. So… the season begins to change.

I hope we get at least one good freeze this winter. The mosquitoes have played havoc with us this year, but I’ll take the chance of West Nile virus over drought any day. Oy…

Are you putting food by for the winter? I’m thinking perhaps I should!

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Responses

  1. I have never seen fresh chickpeas. Learning something new. I cook and freeze fresh pumpkin. I buy them when they are available in Sept. and Oct. and try to put enough back for the rest of the year. Fresh pumpkin tastes so much better than canned.

    • Oh you are so right – the canned stuff just doesn’t compare!

  2. That is so interesting. I have never seen fresh chickpeas and I don’t think it’s a crop we have here. Lovely and tempting description.

    • I think you might live too far north to grow them, but you could try… or come visit here 😉

  3. Have never eaten (or seen) fresh chickpeas. Another reason to think seriously about growing our own!

    • I bet they would do well where you are. They like the heat, so I don’t think your summer would frighten them 😉 Let me know if you try a crop next year, OK?

      • Will do – I think you need quite a lot of space for a decent sized crop, that´s the only prob 😦

      • There are a ton of articles out there about growing them… and I bet you could tuck them into a smaller space than most of the articles think they need!

  4. Hmmm. I used to buy fresh chick peas all the time at Central Market, over where they sell the lettuces in bulk. They used to sell sprouted lentils, chick peas and maybe one or two other beans/seeds, both individually and in a mix that I bought all the time for adding to salads. Then, one day, the sprouted beans and seeds were gone and I haven’t seen the since. The sprouted part was really just the absolute tiny, tiny beginnings of sprouting — not like a mung bean or alfalfa sprout where the beans have turned to cotyledons. This sounds like something to google… What happened to sprouted beans and lentils for salads?

    • I got these at Fiesta. I’ve seen them at the Michoacana markets as well. Mmmmmhmmmm… maybe we could lobby for Central Mkt to bring ’em back?


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