Guacammus!

When I took my shopping basket to the counter at Madison’s at Findlay Market, Bryan Madison asked me, “Did you see the fresh English peas and fava beans and fresh garbanzos at the front of the store?!?”

He was almost giddy about this bounty of seasonal spring produce, and so was I. I love freshly shelled peas, and I’ve experimented with fresh favas before. [Frankly, the work that fresh fava beans demand: shelling, then blanching, then tedious peeling—really???—makes them wholly overrated, in my opinion.]

But fresh chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans? Fresh ones? I’d never seen such a thing. So I bought three-quarters of a pound and set to shelling.

Fresh chickpeas: Where have you been all my life?

cooking fresh chickpeas | writes4food.com

They are a wonder: Plump, pale yellow-green, one or two to a pod, which release their cache with a satisfying ‘Pop!’ To cook fresh chickpeas, I just covered them with water, added a pinch of salt and boiled them for about 4 minutes, until they were al dente like pasta. Their flavor is remarkable: They taste green. Slightly sweet, with a toothsome texture, they’re somewhere between shelled peas and edamame.

I wanted a recipe that would allow the bright greenness of these fresh chickpeas to shine, so I did a little research and found an idea to combine the cooked chickpeas with avocado in a sort of guacamole-avocado mashup. Allow me to introduce you to Guacammus TM.

As it happens, the avocado’s traditional Mexican styling and the garbanzo bean’s use in Middle Eastern cooking share common ingredients—specifically, lemon, cumin and spicy pepper. So I developed this recipe to capture those Middle Eastern-Mex flavors.

This guacammus is equally at home on a corn chip or a wedge of toasted pita. I can’t wait to get back to Madison’s to score more fresh chickpeas. And if you can’t find them near you, don’t worry: This guacamole hummus recipe would be as good (almost!) made with fresh or frozen peas or edamame. (Substituting canned chickpeas would yield a completely different color, taste and texture.)

guacamole-hummus dip recipe

(serves 4)

3/4 lb. fresh chickpeas in the shell (about 1 1/4 cups shelled); see Note
1/2 large avocado
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
smoked paprika and good olive oil for serving

Note: If you can't find fresh chickpeas, substitute 1 1/4 cups of fresh or frozen shelled English peas or edamame.

Remove the fresh chickpeas from their shells; reserve a handful of shells (adding these to the pot enhances the flavor of the chickpeas, I think). Place the chickpeas and shells in a saucepan and cover with water; add a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil and cook the chickpeas until they're done but not mushy, 4–5 minutes. Rinse the chickpeas under very cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer the cooked chickpeas to a bowl and use a fork or immersion blender to coarsely mash them. Add the avocado and mash to combine. Stir in lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the guacammus to a serving bowl and sprinkle liberally with smoked paprika and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with toasted pita chips or tortilla chips.

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