As a longtime vegetarian, people sometimes ask me what I miss the most about my meat-eating days. It’s an easy answer. I miss turkey sandwiches…and seafood. All seafood. Shrimp, lobster, clam strips, scallops, swordfish, steamers, haddock, salmon…and yes, tuna fish.
A few years ago I heard about a “mock” tuna salad recipe using mashed chickpeas. It’s eerie, but the chickpeas do have a bit of a tuna taste and aroma. You wouldn’t mistake it for the real thing, but it’s still delicious. I have updated the recipe over the years to suit my taste based on the way I used to make tuna salad.
The basics are chickpeas (aka garbanzos), mayo, spicy mustard, celery, and red onion.
Mix everything together and then get out the potato masher to break down the chickpeas. You can mash them first if you want, or pulse them a few times in a food processor, but I like mashing everything together the old-fashioned way.
Once the consistency is to your liking, get your bread of choice, lettuce, and potato chips ready.
Yes, I said potato chips. For saltiness and crunchy texture, I love a few kettle-cooked potato chips on this kind of “salad” sandwich.
Not too many, mind you, and make sure you press down on the top slice of bread a bit to break the chips before you bite.
Then, my friends, you are ready to eat a mock-tuna salad sandwich. The chickpeas lend a hearty, nutty flavor while the mustard gives it a kick. The celery, onions, and potato chips provide the crunch. You bring the appetite.
Mock-Tuna Chickpea Salad
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas/garbanzos, drained
2 celery ribs, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise (I use a light version)
2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
Combine all ingredients and mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or fork.
I suggest enjoying chickpea salad on a bed of lettuce, topped with potato chips. I am sure, however, that it would taste just as great if you made substitutions based on however you normally enjoy tuna salad.