Cucumber Chickpea "Bruschetta"
Recipe type: Appetizer, Snack, Entree
This recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan and loved by all. Really. It will surprise you how folks love this refreshing combo of ingredients and surprising presentation. Makes a great appetizer or filling, but "light" meal.
  • cucumber slices
  • can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, mashed
  • juice of about one-fourth of a lemon
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped onions
  • chopped basil or other herbs and seasonings (e.g., dill, cumin, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes)
  • OR salsa in place of last four ingredients (i.e., ingredients listed after chickpeas; see notes)
  1. Slice cucumbers thick enough that they can hold some weight. (See photo.)
  2. In a large bowl, add chickpeas and lemon juice. Mix well. Mash chickpeas with a potato masher or back of a spoon. They do not have to be fully mashed, just spreadable (or "spoonable").
  3. Spread chickpea mixture onto cucumber slices using a spoon.
  4. Mix tomatoes, onions, herbs, and seasonings. Spoon onto chickpea-topped slices.
  5. OR
  6. Top chickpea-topped cucumber slices with a small spoonful of salsa. Serve.
I used a seedless cucumber as I think they are a bit sturdier and I like the lack of seeds. Chickpeas are much more difficult to mash by hand than black beans; I was surprised. Just mash enough to be able to place on the cucumber slice. With the remaining chunkiness and their coloring, the mashed chickpeas almost look like shredded cheddar cheese, which is not a bad thing when one is eating dairy free. We had some peach-mango salsa leftover from our weekend camping trip with Son and his friends, which I used as topping for half of these bruschetta. (Incidentally, I'm not sure on the plural of bruschetta. I just found out I was saying the word wrong after all these years. Apparently there's the correct pronunciation and then the Americanized pronunciation.) Just a dab of salsa from a spoon on top of the chickpea mixture was all that was needed. The resulting bruschetta was really lovely, with so many flavors and textures ... all working well together. These are very addictive for a healthy snack! Incidentally, this would be a great recipe to get the kids involved in, too.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine
Recipe by gfe--gluten free easily at