I love a good sandwich.
When I was eating meat, there was nothing in the summertime like a cold chicken salad sandwich with a ice cold glass of lemonade or sweet tea. However, now that I’m a vegetarian I have had to find alternate ways to enjoy a good summer sandwich.
The chick pea has become a godsend.
I’ve come to appreciate chick peas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) as an ingredient because of their versatility in recipes. Recently, I tried a Chick Pea Salad Sandwich from Ethos Vegan Kitchen (popular vegan restaurant in town) and it was delicious! While most vegetarian sandwiches in restaurants predictably consist of some form of eggplant or Portabella mushroom (yawn), It really hit the spot to have light, refreshing sandwich in the summertime. Busboys and Poets in Shirlington, VA also features a wonderful chick pea salad. During my vacation to D.C. this year, I ordered this as extra side on top of my vegan Cobb salad.
These wonderful versions of chick pea salad inspired me into experimenting with my own version. You can certainly thrown in bits of chopped walnuts, apples (or pears or sliced grapes…whatever you like!) to add some nuttiness or sweetness to the salad, but this recipe is a good base to start. One of the things I’ve discovered through cooking and eating vegetarian is that often times that flavors that make a dish so wonderful have actually nothing to do with the meat–it’s in the herbs and spices and other ingredients surrounding the protein. In this instance, the tarragon herb approximates the flavor of a hearty chicken salad and the Dijon mustard’s tanginess helps tie everything together.
Summertime Chick Pea Salad
2 cans of garbanzo beans (drained)
1/2 cup of vegan Earth Balance mayo (or regular mayo if you prefer)
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/4 red onion, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1 small carrot (or half a medium carrot), minced
1 tbsp of dried tarragon leaves
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
Salt and Ground Pepper
1) In a medium bowl, mash the drained garbanzo beans. I’ve tried processing them all the way and also not mashing them at all. Mashing them into a consistency that’s half-mashed (like a hummus consistency) with bits of whole garbanzo bean seems to give the best result. If you mash/puree them too much, the texture comes out more like hummus and if you don’t mash it enough, the salad will fall out of your sandwich too easily.
2) Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Season lightly with salt (1-2 twists of a grinder should do it) and season generously with cracked pepper. Add tarragon.
3) Add mayo, Dijon mustard onion, celery and carrot.
4) Stir until mixed thoroughly. Voila! Ready to eat.
My personal favorite is to take a scoop of the salad, spread it on multigrain bread and stack with lettuce and a thick slice of tomato to make a hearty sandwich. You can also eat a scoop on a bed of spring mix or chopped Romain lettuce for a tasty salad.