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Jul 30, 2006 02:49 AM

Fresh garbonzo bean recipes - garbonzo GREENS sun tea?

Every Saturday on my way home, I passed a truck selling big herby-looking green bushes. Today I stopped to see what they were and it turns out they are fresh garbanzo beans.

Here is a picture of the beans. Mine bunch is about three times that size and all green, but it gives you an idea.

They can be eaten raw or steamed from my understanding. Raw they taste like a cross between edame and green peas. They are in a little pod you open which is kind of fun because it pops, like popping bubble wrap if that's your thing.

Here are two recipes for steaming with pictures of the garbanzos removed from the greens.

An old Chowhound post says they are sometimes steamed and sprinkled with fresh chile, lime and salt like Mexican corn. One poster said

"We ate these from street vendors in Mexico where they appeared to have been steamed and tossed with lime and chile. The method was to suck them out of the pod rather like eating an artichoke or edamame and discarding the husk."

Since there are alot of greens to beans I was wondering if the greens were ever eaten. The vendor said no, but then I came across this GREAT blog entry by a vendor who sells at the very upscale SF Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

It it a great read. Those trendy San Franciscans would have nothing to do with the beans, but the Mexicans who bought them on street corners went wild for them.

The value--and the limits--of fantasy in any farming operation (scroll down to paragraph below picture of greens ... not garbanozo greens though)

He writes
"Back in his home village outside La Barca, Jalisco, spring garbanzos were much appreciated. Not only did the people look forward to the mouth watering tenderness of the fresh garbanzo beans, they also used the foliage to make a wonderfully refreshing sun tea. "

Anyone know how to do this? Just stick the greens in a jar of water and wait?

Any other fresh garbanzo recipes?

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  1. We ate them a lot last summer. We ate them raw, lightly steamed, or (unshelled) shaken with olive oil and then roasted and salted (don't eat the shell -- pop them out). Kind of like you might prepare raw fava beans (but I eat the roasted fava shells too).

    1. If you try the sun tea let us know. Our Southern California grower told us to throw the greens away.

      1. I've just discovered these, too. They really are lovely - green and nutty tasting. I made a sort of summery vegetable side dish with them. Details/photo here:

        1. I used to buy these at the Sacramento Farmers Market and can now find them in NYC (unbelievably!) in some Indian grocery stores. IMHO their subtle nutty flavor is best enjoyed in simple recipes. I take the trouble to shell them and then stir-fry them in butter with S+P, sometimes a bit of garlic. Have cooked them in a light curry sauce too. Yum, my mouth is watering just thinking about them!

          1 Reply
          1. re: smsliu

            Just a reminder it is fresh garbanzo season again ... at least in the SF Bay Area. It seems the season stretches to September locally.

            I thought I reported back, but guess not. Tried the sun tea. Not my thing. Sort of like any leaves put in water and left in the sun ... this could reflect on my 'cooking' skills. I took a sip and tossed it.

            I steamed some. I added some to salads. I ate some like edame. I steamed some (ok microwaved) with chile and lime. All good.

            Don't remember if I did anything else. The only note is that they dry out quickly. So if shelling and keeping in tupperware, eat within 3-4 days. No more than a week. Otherwise, use like any dried garbanzo.

            And ... stripping the beans from the bushes and shelling was one royal pain to me. However, I have no patience with anything ever remotely cooking-related. I'd buy them shelled though.

          2. I'm sooo jealous, here in the East I have never seen them fresh and our Trader Joe's just started selling them in the fall in the freezer section, already out of pod. I've been wondering what to do with them!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: 4chowpups

              If you ever striped a garbanzo branch, you wouldn't be so jealous.

              Here were a few more posts since this one about garbanzo ideas. The first is particularily good ... I might just pick up a bush next weekend ... sigh.

              Another recent topic which may or may not remain on the General Board or be moved to Home Cooking.