Lunch

This Genius Smashed Chickpea Salad Is Vegan, Big-Batchable Comfort Food

September 12, 2018

Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Creative Director and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook.

Whether you have rosy associations with potato, macaroni, and other salads lovingly glommed together with mayo or you’ve always been a bit uneasy with the whole genre—there is something for you to love in this recipe.

It’s a very 2018 version of the classic deli salad experience, jeweled with bright, crunchy pickled bits and fresh herbs. It's entirely vegan but still has the comforting qualities of the egg salad sandwich your dad or favorite diner might have made. Such is the effect of Gena Hamshaw’s recipe oeuvre—both on this very website, and in her most recent, very beautiful and compelling book Power Plates.

In part, this polarity is because the salad is anchored by chickpeas, the ever-popular, ever-convenient chicken of the legume world. Smashed haphazardly, they provide both creaminess and heft, and give all those crunchy, briny elements something to bounce around on.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I love this, and made a lot of chick pea-salad sandwiches this summer - kinda a mash up (no pun intended) of tuna salad or egg salad, with S&P, vegan mayo, a dash of mustard, chopped celery, chopped red onion or scallions, chopped fresh herbs like parsley and dill, a little turmeric to make it yellowy and pretty, plus a splash of juice from the pickle jar for a little "tang." Mashed up and dusted with paprika, then served on toasted whole grain bread with lettuce and really fresh tomato - just fabulous! (I'd like to try to come up with a version that mimics the ubiquitous chicken salad with grapes, celery, pecans, tarragon or dill, too.) ”
— dishelle
Comment

To cleave the salad together, you have a choice: either vegan mayo for a classic deli experience, or tahini, a brilliant substitute that brings all the same creaminess and binding power as mayo, with a different profile: nutty, smoky, and extremely cozy with chickpeas.

Beyond this, Gena’s recipe is one of those that ticks every box: Great to make ahead. Great to pack for lunch. Great to mix and match into any salad, sandwich, wrap, or grain bowl you fancy. No-cook. Vegan, hearty, and brimming with both the protein that will power you through the day, and the liveliness to keep you good and awake for it. It might even brush your hair and organize that creeping pile of papers on your desk, if you ask it nicely.

This particular smashed chickpea outfit from Gena is a pile of vegetables of all colors, more pickled bits, and an everyday lemony tahini dressing streamed judiciously on top. You would not likely find any of this behind your favorite deli counter, but you will be bonded to it just the same.

Photos by Julia Gartland

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].

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11 Comments

dishelle September 24, 2018
I love this, and made a lot of chick pea-salad sandwiches this summer - kinda a mash up (no pun intended) of tuna salad or egg salad, with S&P, vegan mayo, a dash of mustard, chopped celery, chopped red onion or scallions, chopped fresh herbs like parsley and dill, a little turmeric to make it yellowy and pretty, plus a splash of juice from the pickle jar for a little "tang." Mashed up and dusted with paprika, then served on toasted whole grain bread with lettuce and really fresh tomato - just fabulous! (I'd like to try to come up with a version that mimics the ubiquitous chicken salad with grapes, celery, pecans, tarragon or dill, too.)
 
2tattered September 13, 2018
Mayonnaise or tahini? I vote for a mix, heavy on the tahini. Great recipe - thanks!
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. September 16, 2018
I like your style!
 
Kiri September 12, 2018
I'm adding this to my lunch salad line up. I'm all for the almighty chickpea and anything I can make ahead that will last me for my salads all week.
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. September 16, 2018
The almighty chickpea!
 
SA S. September 12, 2018
Can't please all the people all the time. Any recipe with chickpeas is a great recipe. Keep truckin', Kristen.
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. September 16, 2018
Don't I know it, SA! Thanks so much for your note.
 
pbdailey September 12, 2018
I'm kinda thinking that any recipe with 20+ ingredients isn't particularly genius.
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. September 12, 2018
Well, to be fair, the smashed chickpea salad that you can make ahead in big batches and mix and match into whatever salads and sandwiches you like is 9—the rest is just this one colorful way of serving it and a bonus dressing you can keep on hand. Not everything can be 3-ingredient cookies, but other things like the ease of prep and make-ahead friendliness balance that out for me. (Also, how bored would we get if everything was 3-ingredient cookies?)
 
Ellen R. September 16, 2018
Kristen, I love this recipe! The number of ingredients didn't bother me. A lot of it was just measuring things. I have a small fridge, so when a friend came over, I decided to make it right before we ate it. He chopped, I smashed and made the dressing. And of course, I drained the chickpeas and smashed 'em in my gorgeous Ekobo bowl/colander set. And btw, "Power Plates" is a stunning cookbook. It's my new go-to!
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. September 16, 2018
Ellen, I'm so happy to hear it! And I totally agree—Power Plates is completely gorgeous and inspiring.