Dinner with a friend who recently adopted a vegan diet introduced us to chickpeas as “sloppy Joes.” Unlike the lentils she first tried as a meat substitute in her favorite filling recipe, the chickpeas lent a firmer texture to the mixture.
While I’m a fan of chickpeas in all manner of curries, stews and other cooked preparations, I still enjoy them as a salad component and welcome new combinations beyond the classic Greek salad. One of my favorites is a recipe posted a coupe of winters ago using fingerling potatoes and collard greens.
Similar is this recipe from Tribune News Service sweet potatoes and arugula with a creamy almond-butter sauce, a good way for vegans to add more healthful fats to their diets. Peanut, cashew or sunflower butters also could be used.
Sweet Potato Medallions With Almond Sauce and Chickpea Salad
4 small (4-ounce) sweet potatoes
1/4 cup creamy, natural almond butter
3 1/2 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
5 ounces baby arugula
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Prick the potatoes all over with a fork; place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave at high just until tender, for about 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds.
In a bowl, whisk together the almond butter, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 3 ½ tablespoons warm water. Set aside.
Brush potato slices on 1 side with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook potato slices, oiled-sides down, until golden-brown, or for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn medallions.
In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, arugula, salt, pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon oil. Divide chickpea mixture among 4 plates; top with sweet potato slices. Drizzle with almond-butter sauce.
Makes 4 servings.