Our “Cooking for Two” series is all about those of us who love good food but need smaller batches. Maybe you’re single or coupled but with no kids (no kids, before kids, after kids). Whatever the reason, you don’t necessarily want a lot of leftovers hanging around. We had you in mind when we developed these recipes.
I love this vegetarian “non-chicken”chicken salad sandwich! It’s got everything I love about a chicken salad or tuna salad sandwich, but without the animal protein. On the face of it, it seems almost too simple to be that good, but to be honest I was pretty wowed by how tasty chickpeas are in a sandwich.
My skeptical better half, a die-hard meat and potatoes guy, was even more impressed when I sprung this on him. It’s a quick sandwich to make for an impromptu lunch for two — serve it with soup, salad, or my favorite indulgence, potato chips! It’s quick, easy, and satisfying.
CHICKPEAS: THE PERFECT PANTRY STAPLE
Mashed chickpeas, which are also called garbanzo beans, are like a blank slate. They assume the flavors of creamy mayonnaise and piquant mustard and complement the textures of crunchy celery and almonds.
Finish this sandwich with layers of buttery avocado, tomato slices, and greens to make a main course meal. Plain old lettuce is just fine here, but I happened upon some baby watercress on my shopping day. Its spiciness added a little extra zing to the sandwich.
WHAT’S THE BEST SANDWICH BREAD?
On the same shopping excursion, I found a fantastic loaf of seedy whole-grain bread from a local bakery. It was the icing on the cake for this quick-to-come-together sandwich.
The right bread makes a simple sandwich that is fit for a king. If you can find a good sourdough or hearty whole-grain bread in your market, go for it! It’s definitely worth the splurge.
POSSIBLE SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Consider this recipe as a guideline—you could swap out different greens, like spinach or arugula, for the watercress or add chopped apples for a little sweetness and crunch instead of or along with the celery.
I would stick to chickpeas here, but other additions or substitutions could enhance your sandwich. Instead of capers, use some of your favorite chopped pickles, or add a few sliced radishes or grated carrots along with the greens when you assemble the sandwiches.
HOW SCALE IT UP OR MAKE IT AHEAD
The filling makes enough for about two sandwiches, but depending on the size of your bread slices, you may have some leftover. Have it in salad or spread it on crackers for a snack!
If you have a crowd to feed, by all means, double the recipe. The filling keeps well in the fridge for at least three days.
To prevent the bread from becoming soggy, don’t assemble the sandwiches more than four hours ahead of time.
MORE EASY SANDWICH RECIPES
- Cauliflower Steak Sandwiches with Red Pepper Aioli
- Grilled Cheese with Mozzarella, Red Peppers, and Arugula
- Curried Chicken Salad with Mango
- Tarragon Egg Salad
- White Bean and Tuna Salad