Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Smashed Chickpea Salad #recipe from @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE: I spotted this fun salad on Deb Perelman’s blog, The Smitten Kitchen. She calls it a deconstructed hummus—meaning, in my interpretation of the phrase, that the parts are at least as good as their sum. And boy, are they.

Beans are one of the few canned foods we regularly keep on hand. (The others? Tomatoes and pureed pumpkin.) The other ingredients are household staples or easy to get, making this an easy dish during times when you’re limiting your shopping trips, for whatever reason. (Gosh, Leslie, what reason could that be?)

Although she’s more careful in her book, Perelman is casual about amounts of some ingredients in her blog—“a couple good pinches” of salt, “a glug or two” of olive oil. While I’ve given rough measurements, they’re definitely “to taste,” so use your eyes and taste buds on this one. But that’s a good habit, anyway. A caution about lemon juice: I often find recipes overdo it, and once you’ve used too much, you’re stuck with it, so start small.

We served this as a side dish with pan-fried cod with brown butter and asparagus, and it was the perfect spring dinner. The leftovers were tasty on a lightly-toasted, home-made English muffin, which I shared two weeks ago. They’d also be great on flatbread or in a pita, or served as a dip in what folks near the Mediterranean call a tri-mezzo—a platter of pita wedges or slices of baguette served with three dips. Mmm!

Smashed Chickpea Salad

Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog

1 15-ounce can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons pitted, halved and very thinly sliced black olives or olive tapenade
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Zest from half a lemon
lemon juice to taste – start with a teaspoon and add with care
½ teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
A few grinds of black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil or more to taste

Mix everything but the olive oil in a medium bowl. Very lightly smash the chickpea mixture with the back of a fork, a potato masher, or the end of a meat mallet; you want some good chunks, but few or no whole beans. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add one tablespoon of olive oil, mix lightly, and add more if necessary to hold the ingredients together.

Serves 2 as a salad, 4 as a side dish or on toast.

From the cover of THE SOLACE OF BAY LEAVES, Spice Shop Mystery #5 (Seventh St. Books), coming July 21, 2020: 

Pepper Reece never expected to find solace in bay leaves. 

But when her life fell apart at forty and she bought the venerable-but-rundown Spice Shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, her days took a tasty turn. Now she’s savoring the prospect of a flavorful fall and a busy holiday cooking season, until danger bubbles to the surface ... 

Between managing her shop, worrying about her staff, and navigating a delicious new relationship, Pepper’s firing on all burners. But when her childhood friend Maddie is shot and gravely wounded, the incident is quickly tied to an unsolved murder that left another close friend a widow. 

Convinced that the secret to both crimes lies in the history of a once-beloved building, Pepper uses her local-girl contacts and her talent for asking questions to unearth startling links between the past and present—links that suggest her childhood friend may not have been the Golden Girl she appeared to be. Pepper is forced to face her own regrets and unsavory emotions, if she wants to save Maddie’s life—and her own. 

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories.  Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. Perfect! Ingredients we all have in our hopefully well stocked pantries! Thank you!

  2. This sounds really good, Leslie. I always have garbanzo beans in the pantry.

    One of my favorite summer salad creations is a variation of this: three colors of canned beans (I like garbanzos, black beans, and cannelinis), plus an equal amount of steamed shelled edamames. Mix together with Italian dressing, salt, pepper, and a big handful of chopped parsley. It can be served warm or cold, and if you don't drain the beans it can be poured over rice for a main dish.

  3. Thanks for reminding me about Smitten Kitchen. I used to check it regularly, but somehow have forgotten.
    This does sound good. Creamy hummus is great, but the addition of chunky texture here should be fun.

    1. Her recipes are pretty reliable, and I like the inventiveness.

  4. Just mashed up a batch for lunch, minus the olives since we're out, and am eating it over lightly dressed greens. Gotta love an easy, flexible recipe!