Creamy, crunchy with a hint of sweet, Smashed Chickpea Salad with Pecans and Grapes comes together quick and is versatile enough to enjoy on a bed of greens, as a sandwich, cute little tea sandwiches or in a wrap. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
I first started thinking about this recipe when my Ma mentioned she wanted to attend high tea at the Fairmont in Seattle while she visits this fall. She usually comes to Whidbey all the way from Texas at least once a year.
We love seeking out new experiences surrounding food.
I’ve only been to high tea once, and it wasn’t really even high… Just a corner tea room in a tiny town with fancy finger foods like petit fours and little tea sandwiches with the most delicate teacups and saucers.
It totally felt fancy though.
A Spin on a Classic
The thought of going to the Fairmont got me excited about putting on a pretty dress, maybe even a hat, and drinking tea in their fancy-schmancy tea room.
Then, I thought about tea sandwiches. Of course my mind drifted to food.
Since we’re all still talking about this Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich I wrote about a few years ago, I thought I’d put another spin on smashed chickpeas.
A very old favorite recipe came to mind. So I created Smashed Chickpea Salad with Pecans and Grapes based on that old favorite.
Classic ingredients in a not so classic mash-up.
But I love this reinvented version even better.
How to Make Chickpea Salad
- Start with cooked chickpeas. Add a bit of mayo, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper then mash it up! But not too much. Just enough until it’s still a bit chunky.
- Then throw in the onions, celery, toasted pecans, grapes, chives and parsley. Give it a good mix and taste for seasoning adjustment.
Now, you may be thinking, why not just throw it all in a food processor.
Well, I’ve tried it and the texture was off for me. The chickpeas had little sharp edges from the slicing action of the blades. Mashing the chickpeas gives the little peas a much softer mouthfeel, almost creamy yet still with good texture.
How to Share Chickpea Salad
Serve this delectable salad on a bed of fresh greens, in a lettuce wrap, pita or dip.
As for tea sandwiches…
Cut Multigrain Bread thin, remove the crust because tea sandwiches must be fussy, and slather a few tablespoons of Chickpea Salad on one side. Sandwich the two pieces together then cut in half.
Can you imagine these cute little sandwiches at a shower, party, appetizer, or, or…. your very own high tea?
But all cuteness aside, this salad is practical. It comes together in about 15 minutes! Hello to week day lunches, picnics or impromptu guests like your mother-in-law.
But above all, make this for yourself with crustless bread, put on a fancy hat, like your ball cap, and break out the most delectable tea you have on the shelf. Feeling like we’re at a five star hotel in our own home can be as simple as a fancy (and not too fussy) sandwich or salad.
More Vegetarian Sandwiches to Love
- Mushroom Goat Cheese Panini Sandwich
- Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- Italian Pressed Sandwich
- Smashed Pimento Chickpea Sandwich
- Pulled Portobello BBQ Sandwich
Smashed Chickpea Salad with Pecans and Grapes
- 1/4 C (35g) Raw Pecans
- 1 1/2 C (230g) Cooked Chickpeas one can, drained and rinsed
- 4 Tbs Mayonnaise I use Just Mayo
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 Lemon zested and juiced
- 2 Tbs Red Onion chopped fine
- 1/4 C (18g) Celery chopped fine
- 1/3 C (60g) Red Grapes quartered
- 1 tsp Chives chopped fine
- 1 1/2 Tbs Fresh Curly Parsley chopped fine
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 325F (162C).* Place the pecans in a small pan and toast for 15 minutes. They will be fragrant and slightly darker in color when done. Set aside to cool, then chop into small pieces. (*Or you can dry toast the pecans in a pan on low heat on the stove top for a few minutes. Just keep an eye on them because they can burn quick!).
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the chickpeas, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, lemon zest and juice. Smash with a potato masher just until creamy with some whole peas left. Fold in the red onion, celery, grapes, chives and parsley. Generously add fresh ground pepper then taste for seasoning adjustment.
- Rest salad in the refrigerator for at least an hour if you can, then assemble as a dip, on a sandwich, tea sandwiches, or simply on a bed of lettuce.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two days.