For a healthy change of pace when lunchtime rolls around, we wanted an easy bean based sandwich that offered all the satisfaction of traditional deli-style options. Chickpeas promised plenty of fiber and served as a meat-free protein source; and the legume’s tender but not overly pasty texture would combine well with a creamy dressing. As for the dressing, normally a bit of mayonnaise provides creaminess, but since we were already using chickpeas, why not make a hummus-style puree for our base? We processed a portion of the chickpeas with equal parts mayo and yogurt for just a bit of richness, plus lemon juice for brightness. Then we added the remaining chickpeas to the mixture and briefly pulsed them to give us the right textural contrast. To round things out, we turned to classic flavors: Chopped celery provided crunch, dill pickles brought some brininess, and red onion and herbs finished the salad with vibrant, fresh flavor. Served on whole-grain bread with baby spinach, this salad makes a healthful, luscious sandwich sure to satisfy any lunchtime craving.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup organic plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 1 celery rib, minced
- 0.33 cup dill pickle chips, patted dry and chopped fine
- ½ small red onion, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, dill, or tarragon
- 12 slices hearty 100 percent whole-grain sandwich bread
- 2 ounces (2 cups) baby spinach
- 1 tomato, cored and sliced thin
- Process ¾ cup chickpeas, mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Add remaining chickpeas to food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped with some larger pieces remaining, about 4 pulses.
- Combine chickpea mixture, celery, pickles, onion, and parsley in large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread chickpea salad evenly over 6 bread slices, then top with spinach and tomato. Top with remaining 6 bread slices. Serve.