Courgette and chickpea sandwich

Sandwiches are the perfect lunchtime food. Forget salads, soup, beans on toast, it’s the sandwich that is the undefeated champ of the midday meal. I think that a well-executed sandwich is unequivocally the only thing which can pull you back from a disappointing morning, and the ideal food to motivate you towards lunchtime.

Lately, I’ve been working on my sandwich game. Sure, hummous and veg between toasted brown bread is a beautiful thing, but there are higher levels of satisfaction to reach. Substitute the hummous for avocado, and you’ve progressed a little. But stick slabs of smoked tofu between slices of sourdough, layered with crisp lettuce, cucumber, and red pepper, topped off with a touch of relish, and you’ve got yourself a belter.

Here’s a new favourite of mine, ideal for when you’ve got a little extra time to prepare your lunch, or if you know you’ve got a difficult morning ahead and want something to look forward to. For those who live and breathe carbs, like myself, the doubling-up of them in this sandwich will satiate the most deep-set of hungers.

To feed one person, you’ll need:

  • two slices of thick HIGH QUALITY bread. None of that bleached white abomination or limp branded granary. Visit a bakery (or supermarket bakery), or even better, invest in a bread-maker (which will churn out pure joy for the rest of your life).
  • one petite, or half of a medium courgette
  • 1/2 can of chickpeas
  • handful plum tomatoes, or one or two salad tomatoes
  • small clove of garlic
  • lettuce leaves
  • tahini
  • juice of half a lemon
  • paprika
  • chilli flakes
  • handful of coriander / parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • sweet chutney or relish (I used tamarind chutney).

Begin by halving the courgette, and halving again. Slice into rectangles. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and set the courgettes to cook until well-browned on each side. Just before they’re done, add thinly sliced garlic and cook for a few minutes, before seasoning with salt, pepper, and a pinch of chilli flakes.

Meanwhile, place two thick slices of bread in the toaster. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, before mashing in a bowl with a fork. Add a tbsp of tahini, a few coriander or parsley leaves, a decent squeeze of lemon, and then season with salt, pepper, and half a tsp of paprika. Mix well to create a thick paste.

When the bread has toasted, layer one slice with the chickpea mash and sliced tomato. Tip the courgettes and garlic on top and arrange precariously. Spread a small amount of chutney on the other slice of bread, place on top of the other, and press down. Use your bread knife to slice diagonally into two perfect triangles.

Serve with salad leaves, or wrap up to put in your lunchbox. This one’s a winner.

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