Sometimes an idea grabs you and you simply have to down tools and run with it.
In amongst the plethora of food blog posts that showed up in my browser today, something quite simple stopped me in my tracks, namely this post for mock tuna salad on Nomadic Gourmet. What grabbed me wasn’t the recipe per se but the idea of it, which was simply this: make a salad from lightly mashed chickpeas and then dress it as you would a tuna salad. Just that.
Now, I have cooked and eaten veritable truckloads of chickpeas in my time, but this was actually an entirely new one on me. I should also explain that it’s a long time since I’ve eaten tuna. Not only that, but tuna salad sandwiches were one of the things that I imagined I would really miss when I took up a vegetarian diet. I was going to have to give this a whirl and soon.
So, as lunchtime beckoned, I got me some chickpeas into the pressure cooker post haste. I mashed and dressed the results and thought fishy thoughts. Some lemon juice and parsley were added to the chickpeas, along with mayo, yoghurt, celery, and lots of black pepper and sea salt. A bit of chopped tomato went in there too for good measure. It was simple and yum and a reminder of the old tuna salad sandwich days. On this day of St. Valentine, I both found an old love and turned it into a new flame. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Mock Tuna Salad with Chickpeas
This is not so much a recipe as a guideline. Use tinned chickpeas for convenience or cook up some dried chickpeas in a pressure cooker if you’re so inclined.
For 1 generous lunch portion I used:
- 150g cooked chickpeas, mashed roughly
- 1 stick of celery, chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- approx 1 tblsp mayo (I used Hellmans)
- approx 1 tblsp natural yoghurt
- freshly ground black pepper and coarse salt to taste (I used Maldon sea salt)
- 1-2 tblsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
- good splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Mix all of the ingredients together, adjusting quantities to your taste.
- Serve on lettuce, crackers, pita bread or whatever else takes your fancy.
- I meant to add some finely chopped red onion to this, but I forgot. I’ll do that next time.