I love sandwiches. When I was a kid, my family ate a lot of everyday sandwiches but there were also the sandwiches that my mum made for special occasions: platters of delicate sandwich quarters with their crusts removed and filled with ham and mustard, curried egg, chicken, salmon and, one of my favourites – grated cheese, celery and chives, dressed in mayonnaise. My mum would use loaves and loaves of bread, lavishly butter each slice of bread up to the edge, layer on the filling, then deftly slice off the crusts. We kids would hang around, longing for just one of the delicate crustless quarters, but we were only ever allowed to eat the cut-off crusts.
Of course, this smashed chickpea sandwich has very little relationship to those party sandwiches of my childhood. This is a proper deli-style sandwich and it needs a hearty wholemeal, sour dough or good solid roll to make it work. It’s the sort of sandwich that can keep you going all day – the smashed chickpea mix is delicious by itself or it can built on to make a super extravaganza sandwich.
For this sandwich, I added some guacamole and roasted red peppers, but any combination of smoky baba ganoush, roasted pumpkin slices, grilled eggplant, a garlicky tahini sauce, tomato, crumbled feta and lettuce, will build this humble smashed chickpea salad into a stairway to sandwich heaven. Best of all, it’s quick to make – it’s just a matter of opening a can of chickpeas, chopping a few other ingredients and, there you have it. As always, use good olive oil and don’t be stingy with it: that and the sharp bite of the lemon are the things that make these smashed chickpeas so good.
Smashed chickpea salad
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1x 400 gram can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons of pitted, halved and thinly sliced black olives
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh parsley
- Zest and juice from ½ to 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- A few glugs of olive oil (to taste)
- Mix everything except for the olive oil in a bowl. Lightly mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher. Add olive oil to taste and adjust seasonings.
- Pile onto a crusty roll or good sandwich bread. It’s good as is, but even better with some extra fixings.