I typically refer to chickpeas as… well, chickpeas, but many people call them garbanzo beans. The word chickpea has roots in the latin word “cicer.” Cicero, the famous Roman philosopher and orator, came from a family of chickpea growers and was thus named after the legume. “Cicer” eventually became the French “pois chiche” and then “chich-pease” after reaching England. At the time, the word “pease” was both singular and plural. During the 17th century, folks began to recognize the word as plural and changed the singular word to “pea,” finally ending up with the word “chickpea” that we use today. Garbanzo is a Spanish word that comes from an ancient Basque word, “garbantzu,” derived from “garau,” meaning “seed” and “antzu,” meaning “dry.”
Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans, these tasty legumes are one of my favorite healthy protein sources. Their mild, slightly nutty flavor is super versatile. I use them in a variety of preparations, but I’d never thought about smashing them together and putting them in a sandwich until I saw this post on the terrific food blog Two Peas and Their Pod. Just the thought of combining two of my favorite foods– chickpeas and avocados– into a sandwich filling made my stomach growl. I also loved the idea of a vegan, mayo-free alternative to egg salad. I whipped up a batch for lunch that very day; since then it has become a regular part of my weekly lunch menu.
This is my own take on the Two Peas version, incorporating some of my favorite springtime flavors. Whenever the warmer weather arrives I find myself cooking a lot with fresh dill and lemon juice. Something about the flavor combination is bright and sunny, and it proved to be a perfect accompaniment to the creamy, toothsome chickpea-avocado mixture. It’s so nourishing, full of fiber, protein and healthy fat. My family can’t get enough of it. The best part? This whole thing can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes. I like to serve it open-faced on whole grain toast or in a pita; it’s also great scooped on top of a green salad. Enjoy!
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- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 3/4 cup chickpeas, cooked or canned and drained
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly chopped dill
- Salt and pepper to taste
You will also need
- Small mixing bowl, potato masher
- Add the chickpeas to a small mixing bowl and cut the avocado into chunks.
- Add the avocado and the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl and mash together using a potato masher. I like to leave a little texture, but you can make the mixture as chunky or smooth as you like. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more lemon juice if desired.
- Serve the salad on toasted bread, with crackers, scooped on top of salad, or however you might use egg salad. If vegan, make sure any accompaniments are vegan; if gluten free make sure that any accompaniments are gluten free.