Chickpea Salad with Savory Meringue

For years I searched google for a decent vegan meringue recipe, but never dared attempt one because of the lackluster results reported. A few months ago I found a YouTube video that showed how to make an excellent meringue using flax seeds. The process took HOURS. Somehow I just never quite had the time for that. But recently I heard about a new technique. Making meringue from the syrupy liquid in a can of beans. Huh? It’s true. Now, I didn’t have all the ingredients to make a sweet meringue, so I decided to make a fluff for my salad.

You can do all kinds of interesting things with one single can of beans – in this case, chickpeas. You see, we have the garbanzo beans themselves, the liquid, and even the skins – they’re best removed for most recipes to give a more appealing texture.

By adding just a few simple ingredients to a can of beans, you can have a fancy schmancy gourmet meal!

For the salad, I have used my fingers to lightly crush the drained & peeled chickpeas. Minced onion and red bell pepper are added, along with vegan mayo (I prefer Just Mayo), sweet pickle relish, a squirt of mustard, and salt & pepper to taste. It’s similar to an egg salad.

Now for the fun part. Pour 1/2 C of the chickpea brine into a medium size bowl and beat it with a handmixer. Start out at a slow speed so it doesn’t go flying. Once it gets good and foamy, turn it up to high speed.

Keep going! Make sure you get all the edges.

Finally you have a nice, thick FLUFF.

As for the chickpea skins, they don’t have to go to waste. I tossed mine with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt, pepper, garlic, and smoked paprika and baked them to a crisp. They make a pretty garnish, although they get soft the minute they touch the foam. Then they get a little chewy 🙂 You can also eat them as a snack.

But they were so pretty. I put a scoop of foam on my salad and sprinkled the crispy chickpea skins on top. The foam is light and fluffy with a hint of salt, perfect with the faux egg salad.

The fluff will not, unfortunately, stay fluffy forever. After an hour or so you’ll notice it has deteriorated, going back to its liquid state with nothing more than foamy bubbles floating around on top. Best to whip it up and serve immediately.

Recipe Recap
Chickpea Salad
1 can of chickpeas, drained & peeled (reserve liquid & skins)
1/4 C minced onion
1/4 C minced red bell pepper
1 heaping Tbsp Just Mayo (or other vegan mayo)
1 – 2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Lightly mash the chickpeas with your fingers or a fork, it is fine to have big chunks. Add onion and bell pepper, mayo, relish, and mustard. Stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chickpea Fluff
1/2 C chickpea brine

Pour chickpea brine into a medium size bowl and whip with a handmixer, starting at a low speed. As the brine thickens and foams, turn up the speed slowly until you reach the highest setting. Beat the brine for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, until it resembles shaving cream.

Crispy Chickpea Skins
Skins of one can of chickpeas
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika to taste

Preheat oven to 350
In a small mixing bowl, toss skins with olive oil. Season to taste. Place in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until skins are crispy and golden brown. If they appear to be getting done too quickly on top, you may carefully turn them over with a spatula.

Serve salad with a spoonful of fluff on top. If you like, you may garnish with crispy chickpea skins. Makes a great light lunch for two.

4 thoughts on “Chickpea Salad with Savory Meringue

  1. You never cease to amaze me! And what patience you have . . . .removing all those skins! Looking forward to experiencing this soon!

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