I consider myself well-versed in fresh foods and in what my food looks like before it gets to my plate. I’ve grown a lot, and I have seen a lot in my travels. And that’s not to mention all the things I come across online. Yet, California continues to surprise me when it comes to produce.
I find something new to me at the Farmers Market almost every week. As you’d probably expect, I’m not shy. Many of the foods don’t have signs and at the market I go to some of the signs are only in an Asian language. As soon as something catches my attention, I walk right up to the vendor and ask what it is. I refuse to pass up on any food knowledge.
This past week, I spotted some small pods that I’d never seen before. Guess what they were. Garbanzo beans! I use garbanzo beans all the time, but I’ve never once seen the fresh version. I purchased a couple handfuls, not quite sure what I would do with them.
After posting the picture on Instagram, I got some help with how to cook them. The easiest way is to steam or boil them, and they cook rather quickly, similar to peas. I shelled and boiled mine, it took about 7 minutes or so to cook them.
It’s hard to describe the taste. They are obviously similar to the cooked-from-dried and canned versions, but they are fresher and lighter in both flavor and texture. I don’t know. Maybe it is just that green color making me think that, but either way, I loved them!
I picked up some bamboo rice (short grain rice infused with bamboo extract) a little while back and I’ve been hungry for something coconut. I used both and put together this very simple dish. It hit the spot for lunch after my mid-morning run.
Coconut Bamboo Rice with Green Garbanzo Beans
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup bamboo rice
¾ cup chicken or vegetable stock
¾ cup lite coconut milk (I chose lite this time because it’s thinner)
1 tbsp chopped, fresh chives
¼ tsp salt (optional)
1 cup cooked, fresh (green) garbanzo beans
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium, add the rice. Cook about 60 to 90 seconds, stirring often. Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to a low boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is softened.
Stir the chives and the salt into the rice. Note: if you are using salted stock you may not need the salt, so taste before adding it.
Divide the rice onto two plates and top with a ½ cup of the garbanzo beans. Serves 2.