One fateful day, I tossed dandelion greens into mock tuna and served it on large-seeded crispbread, and since then, this combination has been in my repertoire.
Dandelion greens have a bitter taste so they’re not for everyone, but if you’ve never tried them, I highly recommend them — not just for their taste but for their health benefits. Dandelion stems are crunchy like celery and the leaves are firm so they hold up well in a creamy salad like this.
You can easily make “mock tuna” without the dandelion greens or with a substitute green such as fresh basil. You can serve this salad on crackers, make it into sandwiches or serve it on a bed of lettuce. Pita pockets work well too because the bread is sturdy and you can load it up with more fresh veggies such as tomato, cucumber, and sprouts.
Note: It’s useful to have chickpeas on hand so you can toss them in soups, marinaras, rice dishes, salads, and more. I recommend keeping several cans in your cupboard, and if time permits, batch cook a bag or two of dried chickpeas and freeze them in jars. Glass peanut butter jars work great for this purpose.
This salad is prepared, seasoned, and served just like tuna salad. The only difference is you’ll drain and mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or fork. Some people like reserving the chickpea juice (aquafaba) and using it as an egg substitute or binder. If you’re not going to use the aquafaba in a day or so, you can freeze it.
Because chickpeas have a mild taste, it’s easy to drown them in too much mayo. You can always add more, so start with less and taste.
Beans and Seasonings
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas or equivalent, drained
2-3 T veganaise or mayo
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
¼ tsp za’atar (or dried basil)
⅛ tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Squeeze of fresh lemon (optional)
⅓ c carrot, peeled and diced
½ c dandelion greens, diced (more for garnish)
Optional vegetable substitutions
Drain the chickpeas and coarsely mash them with a potato masher, leaving some chickpeas whole for texture.
Wash, peel, and dice the carrots.
Wash and dice the dandelion greens into fairly small bite-sized pieces. You can reserve some for garnish if you like.
Combine everything and stir. Taste and add more salt, mayo, or seasoning as needed.