Smitten Kitchen's Smashed Chickpea Sandwich

Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen always gets it right. Our very first food post was her lazy egg sandwich (so good!), and now she’s sharing her favorite sandwich of all time — with lemony smashed chickpeas. Here’s how to make it…

Smashed Chickpea Salad
From Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, inspired by ‘wichcraft

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. 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?

I got my sandwich mojo back a couple years ago, the first time I tried a sandwich from Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft chain. My 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 deconstructed hummus that I’ve been long overdue to make 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.

Recipe: Smashed Chickpea Salad
Makes 2 sandwiches

You’ll need:

1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp pitted, halved and very thinly sliced black olives
1 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Zest and juice from half a lemon
2 good pinches of salt
A few grinds of black pepper
A few glugs of olive oil

Mix everything but the olive oil in a small to midsize bowl. Very lightly smash the chickpea mixture with the back of a fork or a potato masher. You’re not looking for a hummus-like puree, but something closer to a coarse chop with a few smaller bits to hold it together. Add the glugs of olive oil, mix it lightly and enjoy.

This is also awesome as a sandwich on toasted bread, and it needs nothing else on it. But, if you want to doll it up, here are some ideas: A slice of roasted red pepper (as they do at ‘wichcraft), watercress (ditto), a slice of pickled garlicky red pepper (our way). We schmeared the bread with a tahini dressing, which was just tahini, lemon juice and a minced garlic clove thinned with water, but if you’ve got some harissa, I bet that would also be delicious.

Smitten Kitchen's Smashed Chickpea Sandwich

Yum! Thank you so much, Deb! Plus, here’s her bodega challenge!

P.S. More recipes, including Alex’s toaster-oven salmon sandwich and a three-ingredient tomato sandwich.

(Recipe syndicated with permission of Smitten Kitchen. Thanks to Franny Eremin for helping with this series.)