Thursday 28 May 2015

Chickpea, walnut and cranberry salad sandwich

The very word sandwich conjures up simplicity and convenience at lunchtime.  Which is why I love a good peanut butter sandwich.  Yet the best sandwiches take a lot of preparation.  The trick is to incorporate foods that are already being made for other purposes.  Take these sandwiches for example.  I baked a loaf of overnight sourdough bread, I had leftover avocado dressing and I only needed to mix in some vegies to have a great salad sandwich.

For those groaning at my industry, I hasten to reassure you that I don't always have a flurry of activity in the kitchen.  However it is lovely to feel like a domestic goddess with freshly baked bread and muffins and a home made salad dressing that will make vegetables taste great.  I made the dressing yesterday and mixed it through some spinach, carrot, chickpeas and cherry tomatoes for lunch.

Today I was inspired by Janie at the Hedgecombers who has challenged bloggers to make sandwiches for the Tea Time Treats event that she runs with Karen of Lavender and Lovage.  I am often so lazy about my sandwiches that I appreciate any reason to try harder.

I looked through my bookmarks for a sandwich idea that matched my available ingredients, was impressive and required minimal work.  I chose Simple Veganista's Cranberry, walnut, chickpea salad sandwich.  The avocado dressing that I made yesterday seemed a good substitute for her dressing and then I changed some other ingredients.

It reminded me a little of a mock tuna salad but I loved the added sweetness from the cranberries.  After enjoying my sandwich, I then ate a freshly baked muffin.  If only every lunchtime was so satisfying.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Street Art in Melbourne #6 Aboriginal art for Sorry Day
Two year ago: Golden syrup dumplings and a confession
Three years ago: Buttery quince and almond cake
Four years ago: St Andrews Market - crafts in the bush
Five years ago: St Nigel's brownies
Six years ago: WTSIM ... Red onion, feta and olive tart
Seven years ago: Condensed Milk: Heirloom Comfort Food
Eight years ago: MM #12: A marriage of vanilla and chocolate (cupcakes)

Chickpea, walnut and cranberries salad sandwich
Salad adapted from The Simple Veganista and dressing adapted from Healthful Pursuit.  Makes 2 sandwiches (and there will be leftover dressing)

Avocado dressing:

1 small avocado (80g)
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
3 tbsp chickpea brine or cooking water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp wild garlic salt flakes (or regular salt)


1/3 cup cooked chickpeas
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp shallot, finely chopped (or less)
2 tbsp avocado dressing

To assemble:

extra avocado dressing
baby spinach, chopped
grated carrot
sourdough bread

Make avocado dressing by whizzing up the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Make salad by lightly mashing chickpeas in a bowl and mixing remaining ingredients.  To assemble the sandwich, pile some salad on one piece of bread and use the back of the spoon to spread across the bread evenly.  Pile on the carrot and spinach.  Spread a little dressing on the other piece of bread and place on top of the vegies.

Update September 2016 - Made this salad with veganaise and a little mustard powder and lemon juice because did not have shallot and avocado dressing - was lovely.

On the Stereo:
Way to Blue: Nick Drake


  1. I would love this sandwich for lunch or dinner. It's full of crunch and a hint of sweetness.

    1. Thanks Maureen - it would be great for dinner to - and the salad would work at lunch or dinner without the bread too

  2. Such an interesting sandwich filling. At first I thought that this was the sandwich bread flavour!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - how fun would it be if it was the sandwich bread flavour

  3. Sounds good to me. You can't go wrong with walnuts and avocado together. Adding the cranberries alongside is really interesting - the sharp and sweet bits would go so well together. That sourdough looks phenomenal - mine are never that light!

    1. Thanks Joey - avocado and walnuts is nice and healthy - and the sourdough always works (even this one with 1/4 wholemeal flour though it is a bit stodgier after a day or so) - highly recommend you try the overnight sourdough recipe

  4. I love the sound of this filling! I suspect I'd struggle to get it in the sandwich without eating a lot of it beforehand :P I like that you could make the filling in advance (I assume) and just assemble in the morning too.

    1. Thanks Kari - the salad would work very well without the sandwich - I did have to take a few mouthfuls to check it was ok :-) Yes it would be pretty easy to make the filling in advance esp as I found that the dressing lasted well for three days in the fridge

  5. I feel honoured to have inspired such a healthy lunch Johanna! And honestly those are 3 ingredients that I would never have thought to put together in a bazillion years, however the sandwich looks seriously good!
    Thanks so much for sharing with Tea Time Treats, see you again soon ;)
    Janie x

    1. Thanks Janie - these sandwiches would be great all year round - really loved the tea time treats theme last month and enjoyed finding a sandwich idea to try.

  6. Yum, this sounds really good. I admire you for making your own bread. I killed my sourdough starter pretty quickly because I forgot to feed it.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I have given my starter to a few friends who haven't kept it going but I think it is nice to have had a go at it and maybe it will come your way again.

  7. I love chickpea sandwiches! They are so good. I love the texture the walnuts would add to this. And the cranberries would lend a nice sweetness.


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