Last week, my husband and I stopped into a local sandwich place for a bite to eat.  I was hungry for salad, and selected this particular salad because the words “chick-pea” were in its name.  When we settled down to eat, my husband took a glance at the chick peas, piled so high you could practically sled down them, and said, with a twinkle in his eye, “But I thought you didn’t like chick-peas.”

He knows me better than that.  I’m always bringing home garbanzos and finding ways to work them into meals.  Sweet, meaty and packed with fiber and protein, the garbanzo bean is one of the best flavors to add to a salad, or even a main dish.

I discovered the peas’ possibilities as a main dish ingredient by sharing lunch with a woman who had just moved to the United States from Jordan.  I tutored her in English, and her family invited me over for lunch.  Her mother-in-law had risen early to begin browning chicken, soaking rice, boiling garbanzos and grinding cardamom.  When I arrived, we feasted on a meal they called “Upside Down.”  This recipe involves boiling all of the ingredients in a big pot, and then, true to its name, flipping the pot upside down onto a serving plate.   The blend of spices, roasted cauliflower, browned meat and tender chick-peas was delicious, and within weeks I was craving it again.  I found the recipe here and have since made this for friends and family, sharing the tastes of the Mediterranean, and, of course, continuing my mission to get more people hooked on garbanzo beans.

If you are craving garbanzos, swing by Wolff’s Apple House to pick up some farm-fresh garbanzos–so fresh they are still in the pod!  They can be shelled and boiled, or they can be steamed or broiled in the pod and then seasoned with salt.  Anything that means there are even more ways to enjoy chick-peas sounds good to me!