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A layered, flavorful meal

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This quick recipe makes simple canned chickpeas into a bold and hearty vegetarian meal. Chickpeas are mashed in a creamy, rich lemon-tahini dressing, then mixed with crunchy celery and scallions for fresh bite. Earthy alfalfa sprouts, crisp lettuce, creamy avocado and sweet tomatoes bring contrasting textures and flavors to the sandwich. The chickpea salad can be made a few hours ahead and kept refrigerated. Any leftover salad makes a tasty dip served with tortilla chips or crackers. For a vegan alternative, omit the cheese for sandwiches that still boast layers of flavor.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich
• 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 6 tablespoons tahini
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
• Salt and black pepper
• 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
• 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 8 slices multigrain sandwich bread
• Mayonnaise, as needed
• 8 butter lettuce leaves
• 1 packed cup alfalfa sprouts
• 1 avocado, thinly sliced
• 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
In a large bowl, combine oil, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk until well combined. Add chickpeas and mash with the back of a fork or spoon until chunky. Add celery, scallions and cheese, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread one side of each bread slice with mayonnaise. On 4 slices of bread, divide lettuce, alfalfa and avocado, then top with some of the chickpea salad and tomatoes. Close sandwiches and serve. (Sandwiches can sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before serving.)
Total time: 10 minutes, serves 4.

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