Recipe of the week: a charred onion and chickpea salad that brightens the braise

4:25 p.m Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 Food
Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
Chef Hugh Acheson pairs braised pot roast with a chickpea salad that's brimming with flavor.

How do you dress an earthy, slow-cooked pot roast without adding to heaviness of the dish? With a tangy little salad that presents contrasting flavors to brighten up – and spice up – the comfort classic. 

Here’s a chickpea salad recipe from celebrated chef Hugh Acheson’s new cookbook, “The Chef and the Slow Cooker” (Clarkson Potter, $29.99), that does just that. It carries sweet and smoky notes from charred onions, the heat of four jalapeños, the herbaceous lift of cilantro and freshness of squeezed lemon. 

The chickpeas reinforce the roast’s earthiness without excess. 

It’s a salad that’s easy and versatile enough to lighten up the braising season. And, truth be told, it’s delicious enough on its own. 

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
Serve this chickpea salad at room temperature with hot braises or enjoy it by itself, chilled.
  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil, and when it begins to shimmer, add the onion halves, cut-side down, and char for about 10 minutes – you want them to be well blackened. 
  2. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the onion halves cool to room temperature; then slice each half into ¼-inch-thick half-rings. 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, cilantro, jalapeños, charred onion slices, lemon juice, olive oil, and cumin. 
  4. Toss well and season with salt to taste.
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