These smashed chickpea sandwiches are made with smoky avocado dressing, crunchy cucumbers and red bell peppers, all piled between crusty bread slices.
These chickpea sandwiches are special. A French chef named Jean-Pierre taught me to make them. Sort of.
I had a chickpea sandwich for lunch at a pub a while back. At the time I wasn’t too enthused about the idea of a chickpea sandwich. It sounded kind of boring to me, but it was the only thing on the menu that I could eat. I guess I’m never that enthused about any option that’s the only option. It turned out to be surprisingly tasty, and since then a bunch of chickpea sandwiches online have caught my attention. I wanted to create my own version but was at a bit of a loss as to what I could do differently. That’s where Jean-Pierre comes in.
A couple of weeks ago I attended a cooking class with my mom and brother. This was a birthday gift from my brother and me to my mom. It was one of those events where you cook a three course meal under the instruction of a pro, and then you get to eat it. I’m not going to name names or anything, but the person who made the reservation for us promised he would inform the cooking school folks about my dietary restrictions and that it wouldn’t be a problem. Instead we arrived to a menu including a chicken laden salad and salmon-stuffed puff pastry. (Enter sad trombone sound effect.) The instructor and his team were awesome about accommodating though, and able to pull together meatless variations of all of my courses.
The first one was something they called a tower salad. We stuffed all of our ingredients into a big cylinder to mold it into a tower. That salad was totally vegan and it was freaking delicious! It was also enormous. I could have gone home happy after that, and was pretty close to telling Jean-Pierre not to worry about modifying the other courses. The binder in the tower salad contained, among other things, avocado whipped with lemon juice and liquid smoke. It was so good. I had to cop his logic for this sandwich. The sandwich absolutely lived up to its salad predecessor. Make the sandwich. And if you live in the Philadelphia area, call the good people at Chef Jean-Pierre’s cooking school, let them know what type of dietary restrictions you have, and see if they can work around them for one of their classes.
This post first published on Connoisseurus Veg on June 20, 2014.
- 1 very ripe avocado, mashed well
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 1¾ cups cooked or 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ cucumber, seedd and diced
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 6-8 slices sandwich bread
- a few handfuls of arugula or lettuce
- Place avocado and lemon in medium mixing bowl. I like to beat with a whisk or fork to get avocado as smooth as possible, but you can skip that if you're into chunky. Add vinegar, smoke and salt. Mix well. Taste-test and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Add chickpeas and roughly mash. I like to leave about half of them in-tact, but mash up as much as you like. Add cucumber, pepper, scallions and cilantro. Mix to blend everything.
- Distribute mixture among three or four sandwiches, topping each with arugula or lettuce.