Around three quarters of the world’s production of chickpeas comes from India and Pakistan, so I didn’t harbour great hopes for my own crop here on the outskirts of Worcester in the UK. However, no doubt in part due to the fine summer weather over here, I have ended up with a bumper harvest from the twenty four plants I raised.
There is a lot of hype these days about so-called “superfoods”, but if any one vegetable truly merited that description, it must surely be the chickpea. Twenty five per cent of this vegetable consists of high quality protein. It also has a much higher iron and zinc content than wheat. It is low in fat, high in amino acids and a good source of phosphorus and magnesium and in clinical trials it has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
This recipe is easy and straightforward, provided you can source the principal ingredient. Unless you grow your own, you may have difficulty finding fresh chickpeas. And if you don’t grow them why not give them a try? They don’t take up much space and are so easy to grow and so rewarding. I intend to grow them every year from now on.
Using fresh chickpeas completely transforms this traditional dish. I love the vibrant colour as well as the wonderful bright, fresh taste of this green chickpea hummus.
Bring a steamer of water to the boil. Steam the chickpeas for 2 minutes then refresh by plunging into ice cold water.
Put the chickpeas with the other hummus ingredients into a blender and blend until fairly smooth but retaining some texture.
Serve, as a light lunch or starter, with pita bread or with batons of fresh vegetables, such as peppers, carrots and celery. Alternatively, serve in the form of crostini using griddled garlicky slices of ciabbata.