I owe this recipe to Mama Bear. As food obsessed as I am she is equally so (I wonder where I got it from...) and most of our conversations revolve around discussions of the latest recipes we've tried and ingredients we've found. When I came home this weekend and she told me about how she found fresh chickpeas, I became rediculoulsly excited. Fresh chickpeas share little resemblance to the chickpeas we are used to seeing mostly because they are green, but they are utterly adorable. The come in a pod that is reminiscent of a tomatillo shell or an edamame shell and after doing a quick Google I found that most people are calling them the new edamame. Frying them is quick and easy (all they need is a dusting of salt and pepper after!) and doing so turns them the perfect snack for a simple dinner party.
Fried Fresh Chickpeas
Recipe from Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller
My mom found her's at a Spanish supermarket in Westchester, NY. I did a little investigatory work online and it seems they can be found at most specialty food markets or Whole Foods.
Peanut or canola oil for deep frying
Fresh chickpeas in the shell, rinsed and thoroughly dry
Ground fleur de sel or fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Set a cooling rack on a baking sheet and line the rack with paper towels.
Heat about 2 inches of peanut oil in a large deep pot over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Add a handful of the chickpeas to the pot, not more then will fit in one layer; the chickpeas will rise to the top and the moisture in them will cause them to pop, so stand back! If you have a splatter screen, use it. Fry for 2 - 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas stop popping and are golden brown. With a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas to the paper towels to drain. Sprinkle immediately with fleur de sel and pepper. Fry any remaining chickpeas in batches and serve while they are still warm. Eat them as you would edamame, removing the green chickpeas from the pod.