A Smashing Chickpea and Olive Salad
I’ve been spending $7 at least once a week for Tom Colicchio’s chickpea sandwich at ‘wichcraft. I’ve already waxed poetic about my love for the sandwich, and as my dad helpfully pointed out, this is not a sustainable addiction, at least for a soon-to-be-unemployed intern.
Since I can’t buy one every day, I decided to try to make one of my own. Of course I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, but I finally bit the bullet this afternoon. Sadly, smitten kitten beat me to the recipe, though as it turns out, my chickpea salad is pretty different from both hers and Tom’s (we’re on a first-name basis). Part of the reason is that I didn’t want to buy parsley or roasted red peppers, and part of the reason is that as I tasted while making (which I’m very prone to do), I realized that I didn’t really miss the olive oil or the salt.
– 1/2 cup marinated olives
– 15-ounce can chickpeas
– 1/4 medium red onion
– juice of one lemon
Chop the olives. Both the smitten kitchen recipe and Tom use black olives, but I’m an equal opportunity eater when it comes to olives, so I went with a mix of spicy marinated ones. The marinade adds a lot of flavor to the salad, so I recommend it. I also used a lot more than either recipe called for, so my final product was almost half chickpea, half olive. But I really like olives.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. You can also soak dried chickpeas overnight, but that’s too much thinking ahead for me. Then chop the onion as finely as you can (in my case, not so fine). This is more red onion than smitten kitchen calls for, and truth be told, I don’t remember tasting red onion in Tom’s sandwich, but I wanted to finish the onion I had in the fridge.
Add the lemon juice. You can add the zest too, but I used an already-zested lemon.
Toss in a medium-large bowl. Add salt and pepper (I went with just pepper — the extra olives added plenty of salt). Then use the back of a fork or a potato smasher to mash away. You could probably get good results with a food processor as well, but who wants to clean one of those?
I chose not to add olive oil because I thought it tasted really good without it. Your call on that.
It would be great on toasted pieces of baguette or in a sandwich or on crackers or on pita chips or on flatbread or straight out of the bowl with the fork you used to mash. I’ll let you guess which route I went …