Chickpea Salad Recipe
(Also: Kidney Bean Salad, and Tofu Salad)
I first came across chickpea salad when I became a vegetarian, back in 1995. I found a recipe for it in the 1993 edition of PETA's The Compassionate Cook. I still maintain that this is my favorite vegetarian cookbook and always has been. I love chickpea salad! It tastes great on crackers, a sandwich, stuffed in a pita pocket, etc.
What I have noticed is that over the years just about every vegetarian or vegan cookbook that comes out seems to have their "newly discovered" version of this vegan staple. Yet I merely see it as a twist on a recipe that has been around for a very long time. Some call it mock tuna salad, no-tuna salad, tuna-less salad, etc. It may have various names and slightly different ingredients, but the idea is all the same.
While I originally started out using the PETA version, I ended up also adapting my own recipe, in order to fit my tastes. Here's how I like to make chickpea salad:
Vegan Chickpea Salad Recipe
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/4 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon relish
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 cup vegan mayo
1/2 teaspoon of mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
After you have drained and rinsed the chickpeas put them into a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, slightly mash the chickpeas. Add in all the other ingredients and mix it together until the mayo has been worked through the mixture. That's it - it is that easy! Add it to crackers, bread, pita, etc.
One time I made this for a friend for lunch. After preparing the chickpea salad I laid a large leaf of lettuce on the plate and then scooped the chickpea salad onto the lettuce (using an ice cream scooper). Then I fanned out round crackers on the plate, around the lettuce leaf. She thought it looked fancy and loved the taste! You can even use the lettuce leaf to roll up the left-over chickpea salad and eat it all together as a chickpea salad lettuce wrap. Yum! Enjoy!
There's no doubt that if you prepare it a few times you will find that you have a favorite way to make it as well.
As a variation - this recipe is great using kidney beans in place of chickpeas, in order to make kidney bean salad sandwiches. Simply use a can of kidney beans in place of chickpeas. You can also make tofu salad using this exact recipe, only replacing the chickpeas with one package of extra firm tofu that has been drained and mashed.
Also, if you want to use this as a cracker spread, put the chickpeas, chopped celery, onion and red pepper in the food processor and pulse to get a nice spread-like consistency.