Just Chickpea Salad
My mom used to make something like this and she called it Happy Tuna Salad. I’ve never had tuna salad, and I don’t like connecting my tasty food to something fishy, so I just call it chickpea salad. Just Chickpea Salad.
And since I don’t know what tuna salad tastes like, let’s forget there’s even a connection. This is just a nice stuffing for a sandwich. Great source of protein. Tasty. And requires very little actual effort. All good things during the summer.
SUMMER? What? It’s March 14th! Sorry, rest of the country. I was sweating in my car today, and have contemplated the air conditioner several times this week. I realize the rest of the country is still having that winter stuff, but here in the 352, it’s starting to look a bit like bikini season.
The less I have to spend over a hot stove, the happier I am. And I can make a batch of this up that will last a few days. Er… well, The Man makes it disappear quicker than that. So maybe I should just do double batches.
With very little fanfare, here you go:
Just Chickpea Salad
1 can garbanzos
3 huge tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 stalks finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced green olives
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 – 3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 tsp pepper (or 1/4 tsp fresh ground)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
1) This is the only actual work you’re going to do. Drain the garbanzons (yes, chickpeas), and smash them. Don’t puree, blend, or food process them. Just loosely shatter their little souls. I like to pour them into a shallow plate and smash them with a fork. They get a little dry and turn into a pile of chickpea shards. Which is fine and perfect.
2) Toss shattered chickpeas and finely diced celery in a bowl. I’m not telling you how to dice celery. I like it really chopped down so there’s crunch but not clunkers. But that’s up to you. Add in three heaping tablespoons of Greek yogurt. I mean heaping. Like I make it a game how much I can goop onto a tablespoon and get into the bowl. If I had a gun to my head, I would guess it’s a little over 1/2 cup. You can leave off the green olives. I go either way. They definitely add a pop of flavor. If you’re in the mood, toss them in.
3) Seasonings. Again, I’ve never had tuna salad, so you could probably make this taste like that if you were feeling wild. I like this flavor profile. Salt and pepper are a given. A touch of cumin and cayenne round out the garlic powder. But really, have fun with this. It’s a great base for whatever flavors you want to bring in.
4) Mix it up and let it sit. No really, this needs a good stir to combine everything because of the texture of the smooshed garbanzos. And you can certainly dig in right away. I’m not judging. The flavors do marinate well if you leave it for an hour, or over night.
But if I have some fresh beer bread on hand, The Man will physically push me out of the way to get dug in right out of the mixing bowl. Like tonight. I was trying to take a picture and I almost had to wrestle him out of the kitchen for the three minutes it took to get a good angle.
I’ve had this straight out of the container when I was starving. Slathered thick on a sandwich with some swiss cheese is my preference. I’ve even mixed it in with some pasta for a quick salad. It’s fairly versatile, and a nice punch of protein. And frankly, kind of cheap to make a lot of for the summer when the stove is not your friend.