[Note: This recipe got fresh photos in 2019.]
It has been over one week since I told you about the Light Wheat Bread (and just as long since we’ve been out of it, sob), a post I ended with a promise to tell you about my new favorite sandwich next. But instead I told you about Clementine Cakes and then Mushroom Bourguignon and Chouquettes and do you know what happened? Not a single person griped that they were owed a sandwich. Because really, who does that?
I take issue with the banality of most sandwich recipes. I will actually change the channel if I see a food program that walks viewers through making one of any kind; it feels like the bar for cooking has dropped especially low. But it’s not the shows that are to blame, I think, or not fully: it’s the sandwiches. Most sandwiches are dull. Some sliced stuff and schmear between two uninspired slices of bread. Who can stay awake for that?
Now, now, before you write me off as some sort of unsettling creature that doesn’t even like sandwiches, it’s not the case. In fact, I do say I got my sandwich mojo back a couple years ago, the first time I tried a sandwich from Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft chain. Grilled gruyere with caramelized onions, a slow-roasted pork with red cabbage and jalapeños, a now defunct but deeply missed salami with pickled cauliflower sandwich… is anyone else drooling?
But favorite has always been the simplest, or maybe the silliest to pay $7 a pop for: the lemony chopped chickpea sandwich, which is really a decontructed hummus and I have been long overdue to make it at home. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I couldn’t believe how much better it was at home. I — the person who is so utterly bored by sandwiches, she would have stopped reading this post three paragraphs ago — have a favorite sandwich. I mean, salad. I mean… have fun with it.
Smashed Chickpea Salad
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons pitted, halved and very thinly sliced black olives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Zest and juice from half a lemon (if you’ve got one of those sad, juiceless lemons, use both sides for juice)
- Couple good pinches of salt
- A few grinds of black pepper, and/or pinches of red pepper flakes
- A few glugs of olive oil
This is also awesome as a sandwich on toasted bread. Technically, it needs nothing else on it. But, if you want to doll it up, here are some ideas: A slice of roasted red pepper (‘wichcraft’s way), a slice of pickled garlicky red pepper (our way), and a few leaves of sharp greens, such as watercress or arugula. Or, as shown right above this recipe, on an open-faced slice of toast first schmeared with a tahini dressing. Make tahini dressing with a big spoonful of tahini, one minced garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice, and thinned with water to a loose but spreadable consistency. Season well with salt and pepper.
Three more delicious ingredients to add, if you have them: Harissa, mixed in, or dolloped on top. A small spoonful of minced, preserved lemon. A larger spoonful or two of olive tapenade, in place of the chopped olives.