Chickpea of the Sea Salad
I was raised in a tuna melt family. Growing up, the bi-annual pilgrimage to Nordstrom for the shoe sale always concluded with lunch in the cafe, which meant splitting a tuna melt with my mom. It was a rare treat (my mom later admitted with words of caution that she gained her Freshman 15 thanks to this sandwich and this sandwich alone), and one that we both savored. It gave us the fortitude to soldier on through the pushy crowds and heaps of shoes that just didn’t work with my oddly narrow feet.
These days, however, the tuna melt is a much less frequent indulgence for me. After reading about the high levels of mercury in tuna I try not to eat it too often and when I do I usually save it for sushi night. But my buried love of tuna salad was recently unearthed upon finding this recipe from the Kripalu Cookbook, which promised the satisfaction of tuna salad without the scary child deforming effects of the real stuff. While initially skeptical, it was such an easy, inexpensive, recipe to throw together I gave it a whirl and was quite pleased with the results. I wouldn’t really call the result a tuna salad replacement, but rather a delicious, healthy, protein packed spread that stands on its own two feet. It does share certain flavors with a traditional tuna salad though, so can be served and paired similarly.
Chickpea of the Sea Salad (quite adapted from the Kripalu Cookbook)
Makes about 4 cups
2 cans chickpeas
1/3 cup mayo
2 tsp celery seed
3 scallions white and light green parts
2 celery stalks
1.5 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tsp capers
3 tbs whole grain dijon
Pulse the chickpeas and mayonnaise in a food processor for a few seconds until initially mashed a bit. Add your remaining ingredients and pulse until chunky-smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides once or twice.
Serve as a cracker dip, sandwich spread, salad topper or any other way you would use a traditional tuna salad.