Open Faced Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Open Faced Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
From Smitten Kitchen and About.com

Fact: all good things must come to an end.  John officially went 5 full months without having to travel for work, which as far as we can remember is his all time record.  But we knew it wouldn’t last forever, and sure enough this morning he shipped off for a few days in the Boston area.  Now, in a perfect world where I could define the exact parameters of John’s travel schedule (hey, a girl can dream!), I think I’d go with 6 trips a year, planned at least 3 months in advance,  no longer than 4 days each.  Yup, it would be the perfect amount of alone time, and thanks to the advance notice I could plan girls nights accordingly.

But this is reality, and we found out about this particular trip 3 days ago  And as of now he’s not even entirely sure when he’s coming home.  So what’s a girl to do with an undefined, unplanned amount of alone time…make girly food of course!  My dinner tonight did not have nearly the requisite amount of meat to qualify as dinner for my manly man.  I didn’t even manage to squeeze bacon in there somewhere.  Woops.  What it did have was a ton of flavor, plus it didn’t require any silverware to eat, making it the perfect couch dinner.  Hey, don’t judge, at least I didn’t eat it in bed.  I won’t sink that far unless the trip lasts longer than 4 days…

Ingredients

  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • juice of 1 lemon, divided (FYI: you’ll need the zest from half of it later in the recipe, so take that off before you slice in half and squeeze!)
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp black olives, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 2 big pinches of coarse salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices thick, hearty bread, lightly toasted
  • 8 oz jarred, roasted red peppers (if you want to roast your own peppers, I’d say it’s about 1 1/2 peppers worth)

Preparation

  1. Crush garlic in a garlic press, or chop it really really finely.
  2. To make tahini sauce, combine garlic, tahini, fine salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil and juice from half the lemon in a small bowl.  Stir briskly until sauce is well combined and starts to thicken a little.  Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.
  3. Combine chickpeas, olives, red onion, parsley, juice of the other half of the lemon, zest of half the lemon, coarse salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Mash the mixture with a potato masher.  You’re aiming for a rough mash, not hummus-style.
  5. Stir in the olive oil.
  6. Spread about 1 tablespoon of tahini sauce on each slice of bread.  Divide the red peppers among the slices, and top with chickpea salad.

Serves 4 for a light lunch.  I ate two at dinner, but I didn’t have any side dishes. And I did have ice cream for dessert.  So, yeah…

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