We feel like we can be honest with you, so here goes nothing: We love mayonnaise-based salads. Chicken, potato, tuna—you name it, we’ll eat it. The beautiful thing about this smashed chickpea salad is that it starts with already cooked, canned chickpeas (read: no cooking) and is more of a guideline than a recipe anyway.
The actual measurements and ingredients here can be adjusted to your liking, so taste as you go and add more or less to make it delicious to you. Want things extra creamy? Add more mayo. Prefer Greek yogurt? Use that. It likes a hint of acid (lemon juice or a splash of vinegar), something briny (we call for pepperoncini, but capers, olives or pickles would do) and a bit of spice (crushed red pepper flakes or even hot sauce?), but the point is that it's riffable and easy to make with what’s already in your fridge—because the last thing lunch should be is stressful.
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 celery stalk, diced
2 or 3 tablespoons mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
1 or 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard (or any mustard)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more as needed
Pickled pepperoncini or pickled jalapeños, sliced, as needed
Toasted sliced bread, for serving
1 or 2 scallions, thinly sliced (or a few chives, chopped)
Flaky salt, as needed
1. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and use the back of a spoon to smash about half of them, leaving about half intact for texture. Add the celery, mayonnaise (or yogurt), mustard and a splash of lemon juice, and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and adjust the acidity with more lemon juice as needed.
2. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and a tablespoon or two of pepperoncini, and mix to combine. Taste, adding more pepperoncini until the salad is briny to your liking.
3. To serve, heap a generous spoonful of the chickpea salad onto a slice of toasted bread, top with some of the scallions and a pinch of flaky salt. Top with another slice of bread or eat as an open-faced sandwich.
Note: Any extra chickpea salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.