A salad you can pack into a sandwich and tuck in a basket or bag for easy toting is maybe the best kind of picnic fare that there is. Perelandra—the neighborhood grocery store that’s sponsoring this series—serves a really great mashed chickpea salad sandwich at their juice bar & kitchen. When I was pregnant and running between my home office and my office in Times Square, I would often stop into Perelandra and grab a chickpea sandwich to go.
This summer, I’ve been experimenting with different variations of chickpea salads to tote on weekend day trips. Last week I made this one with black olives and fennel (an idea I borrowed from this vegetarian pan bagnat recipe that I made recently for a family picnic). The fennel provides a nice little crunch and an unmistakable flavor and the olives are just briney enough to keep things interesting.
I used a pastry blender to chop everything together into like-sized pieces. If you have a food processor, a pulse or two would be all you needed to blend everything together.
The finished salad should be about the consistency of a chunky tuna salad.
When it comes to sandwiches I’m something of a mayo fiend, so I coated toasted pieces of wheat bread in mayo before piling on butter lettuce and the chickpea salad. Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
What you need:
For the salad:
2 cups or so of cooked chickpeas (a 15 ounce can of already cooked chickpeas will also do)
10 cured black olives, depitted and finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small tomato, diced
3-4 basil leaves, chopped
5 stems parsley, leaves removed and chopped
3 stems oregano, leaves removed and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
For the sandwich:
Whole wheat sandwich bread, toasted
What to do:
1. In a large bowl, mix together chickpeas, olives, fennel, red onion, garlic, and tomato. Using a pastry cutter or fork, smash the ingredients together until the chickpeas are all broken into small bits (the aim is for all of the ingredients to be more or less the same size.
2. Add olive oil, the juice of one lemon, and fresh herbs and stir to combine. (I thoroughly eyeballed the calculations here, but a good glug of olive oil will help everything stay together a bit.) Season with salt and pepper.
3. Layer the salad between toasted sandwich bread along with tender lettuce leaves and a hearty swipe of mayonnaise.
I used sheets of Beeswrap (also sold at Perelandra!) to wrap our sandwiches.
This summer picnic series is sponsored by Perelandra Natural Foods Center, our favorite neighborhood grocery store. Since their opening in 1976, Perelandra has been committed to supplying the Brooklyn Heights community with nutritious, sustainable, and delicious food. Perelandra prides itself on stocking 100% certified organic produce and all of their grocery products are hand-selected by their on-staff nutritionist.