This chickpea salad toasty was thought up for a picnic menu for the marathon duck... you know, the marathon duck. The one who ran the NYC marathon? Ok, if you don't know who the marathon duck is, look her up. Wrinkles (that's her name) and her family were visiting Houston, TX for a couple days and reached out to see if I'd like to show them around.
I was a fan of Wrinkles immediately after I saw her waddle her way alongside her fellow human runners. I was ecstatic to hang out with a duck- but what do ducks like to do for fun? Eventually after crossing out the places Wrinkles probably wasn't allowed in (most indoor spaces)... I settled on a picnic at Hermann Park.
Wrinkles sticks to a strict diet of fruits, veggies, and grains. Therefore, most of the picnic consisted of crunchy lettuce, fruit salad sprinkled with basil, and purple grapes. However, the star of the show was something Wrinkles couldn't eat, my Chickpea Salad Cheesy Toasty (sorry Wrinkles).
What is chickpea salad?
Good question. Chickpea salad is a common swap for tuna salad. Chickpeas are hydrated, smashed, and mixed together with creamy dressings and a dash of umami to mimic the classically loved tuna salad. Chickpea salad is a known recipe for plant-based folks. What I love about my take is that I add a couple of ingredients that remind me of well, fish. In order for me to be satisfied with a chickpea salad sandwich, I need to get that umami flavor. Two ingredients get that job done beautifully: Capers and Miso.
Canned chickpeas are usually stored in water and have a pretty bland base. That means that the little beans will take on flavors nicely! I love adding capers to this recipe since they are very salty. The salt lifts the chickpeas to a level that can compete with salty canned tuna.
Miso or fermented soy beans, adds an umami, yet sweet depth to the mixture. If you know me, you know that miso is one of my favorite ingredients. I almost always am adding miso. For this recipe, I specifically used white miso paste.
This recipe can be vegan & or gluten-free! Just swap out the mayo for vegan mayo and vegan cheese for Colby Jack. I recommend this vegan cheese. Also get some crunchy gluten-free bread.
If you are not gluten intolerant, this recipe calls for GOOD bread. Don't skimp on this one. Treat yo self.