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1 pound Ceci Beans - Italy

Chickpeas are a regular staple in American cuisine. Most everyone has a favorite hummus recipe or three, and they’re an almost ubiquitous feature of the supermarket salad bar. In fact, the humble chickpea (or garbanzo, or ceci bean, or Indian pea… ad infinitum), is an international favorite.

It turns up in cuisines from India, South America, Northern and Western Europe. Perhaps their popularity has something to do with their mildly sweet flavor or their unusual shape. Chickpeas pair well with pastas, rice, and even heartier grains like hard wheat and farro. They make a distinctive dip of course, but they’re even better in a long cooking stew.

They can also be ground for flour, deep fried, or even made into sweet pastes, candies and puddings. For me, chickpeas were the gateway food that opened up my palate to all things Middle Eastern.

Just thinking of chickpeas I start to crave their complimentary flavors: I want figs, nuts, parsley, sweet onions and lemons too, please. Here’s a recipe that satisfies my “sweet-savory-salty-tangy” tooth and keeps me far away from the doldrums of a green lettuce salad.

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From our friend Giuseppe or Etruria Gourmet
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