Fabulous Chickpea Salad

by Sherri Koehler on October 30, 2011

Chickpeas might very well be our favorite legume. We love them on salads, in soups, in “monk bowls”, as snacks, as hummus, roasted… well, you get the picture. A real lunchtime crowd-pleaser is my fabulous chickpea salad. This recipe has even had rave reviews from my step-father, who claims to hate chickpeas!

We’ve been more mindful of our diet lately, so I’ve been wanting to find a way to make this for us without all the extra fat and calories that are in the usual way I make it with Vegan mayo. Recently we’ve fallen in love with one of Susan Voisin’s recipes for a tahini dressing, made with chickpeas, and I found it works perfectly in place of the mayo!

Using Vegan mayo adds about 53 calories and 6 grams of fat to each serving. Using Susan’s dressing to replace the mayo makes this a far healthier dish at 112 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.

The Stuff

  • 2 c cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 c small diced onion (preferably sweet, about 1 small onion)
  • 1/2 c small diced celery (about 2 medium ribs)
  • 1/4 c either Vegan mayo OR Fat-Free Tahini Chickpea Dressing
  • 2 T stone-ground mustard (very grainy)
  • 1 T yellow mustard
  • 2 t dry dill weed (or 4 T fresh — which is extra-tasty)
  • 1/4 t dill seed
  • 1/4 t celery seed
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 sheets (or 1 packet), of snacking nori snipped up into very small bits (optional)
  • 3 T dill pickle relish (optional, I recommend Bubbies)

The Making

Pulse chickpeas in a food processor until they are well broken up, but still coarse. Pulse for just 2-3 seconds at a time, stop, check the consistency before pulsing again. Watch carefully, the idea is to have crumbly chickpeas, NOT the start of hummus.

Put chickpeas in a bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients. Mix together well until all ingredients are well incorporated. You can serve immediately or let sit, which lets the dill flavor really come out more.

Serve between two slices of bread, on a bed of greens, or rolled up inside of a collard leaf! We’ve made sandwiches and collard wraps of this salad as food for long airplane trips, and it travels very well.

Makes 6 1/2 cup servings

Snacking nori adds a great salty “sea” flavor we find reminiscent of tuna salad from our pre-vegan days. We like it a lot just by itself for a snack, so I usually have some on hand and often add to the chickpea salad. I’m sure there are lots of taste and mineral benefits to other popular sea veggies in this salad, but I tend to use the snacking nori because it is on hand and ready to go.

Be sure to check ingredients as some snacking nori contains fish, in the form of Bonito extract (usually), or shrimp. When I use it, I snip the little snack sheets into 4-5 long strips, then snip the ends off of those into very small bits directly into the bowl.

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