Farm Fresh Pick of the Week: Chickpeas

Friday, March 30, 2012 8:44
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Wait… They’re Green?

by: Casey Pukl

Also commonly known as the garbanzo bean, chickpeas are this week’s pick, and boy was I surprised to find out what I’ve been missing out on all this time! Having only ever experienced dried or canned white chickpeas from the grocery store, you can imagine my surprise to find out that the fresh ones were green and had an even better flavor than I had imagined.

I’ve love these little protein-packed legumes. Throw them on top of a salad raw, baked, or fried, or just skip the salad all together! There’s no wrong way to eat a chickpea! One of my personal favorite preparations is to toss them in some olive oil, salt, pepper, curry, cumin, and paprika, and bake them at 375 until crispy. They make a great afternoon snack that’s rich in fiber, protein, and flavor.

This week, Sous Chef Kristen Williams and general manager Warren Phelps have come together to make a perfect pairing of chickpea dishes and wines that are sure to please!

Chickpeas Three Ways

Kristen Williams demonstrated three simple ways to use fresh chickpeas in this delicious shared appetizer. Note that the roasted chickpea salad is currently on special through the weekend or until supplies run out, so be sure to come in and give it a try!

The first preparation (pictured top left) Williams recommends is a simple and delicious roasted chickpea. “Roast the chickpeas in their shells with some sea salt, and you can eat them just like edamame,” she says. Simply pull the pods out of the shells with your teeth and discard the shells.

The second preparation is a gorgeous fresh chickpea hummus. Hummus is very easy to make as long as you have a food processor. To make this dish, Williams simply put the chickpeas, some garlic, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil into the food processor and blended until creamy. Season with salt, pepper, and whatever else you’d like to taste. Hummus can be served with pitas, carrots, celery— whatever your heart desires!

The last preparation is a roasted chickpea salad. First, Williams roasted the chickpeas and discarded the shells. She then added some sliced cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, seasoned with sumac, and tossed in a little bit of lime and orange juice. This salad is fresh and light, making it a great start to any meal!

Next, General Manager Warren Phelps has chosen two great wines to pair with this plate of delicious chickpea appetizers! Note that the Cuvee Natalie is currently on special by the glass as well, and this is a great time to taste a wine that is usually only sold by the bottle!

Brander, Cuvee Natalie, Santa Ynez Valley, 2010
White Blend

This wine is a fantastic blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling that is sourced from the best estate lots in the Santa Ynez Valley. Produced and aged in stainless steel casks, this wine is incredibly crisp.  This blend tends to be a bit more tart than sweet, making it a great complement to the  roasted chickpea salad’s citrusy sweetness.

Loring Wine Company, Gary’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2009 
Pinot Noir

While the nose of this pinot is full of vanilla, cinnamon, oak, and dark cherries, this pinot is all about the flavors of ripe fruit. With strong notes of cherries, raspberries, and blackberries, there is a great balance between the acidity and tannins. This is a big wine with a slightly spicy finish, and pairing it along with the fresh chickpea hummus was a match made in heaven.

We hope that you’ll come down and give this week’s Farm Fresh Pick of the Week a try! Be sure to subscribe to our blog to be notified each time we update so you never miss an exclusive dish, drink, or artist interview!