Rare for these parts, fresh California garbanzo beans still in their pods have made their way east to a Whole Foods near you. When shelled, the garbanzos reveal themselves as looking not unlike tiny green brains (usually one or two per pod, although we’ve seen a mutant three-beaner), and tasting a little nutty, pealike, and pretty much like spring. La Fonda del Sol chef Josh DeChellis recommends charring them in a hot pan, and popping them into your mouth edamame style for a delicious—if slightly messy—snack.
Josh Dechellis’s Charred Garbanzos
1 cup green garbanzos, shells intact
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Heat half of the olive oil in a cast-iron pan over high heat. (1) Add the garbanzos and (2) move them around the pan while allowing them to char for about 1 minute. Remove from pan to a bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil and salt. Serves 2. (3) Eat by squeezing the beans from their pods with your fingers and teeth.