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

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. 



Reprinted from chef Hugh Acheson’s cookbook “The Chef and the Slow Cooker” with permission of its publisher, Clarkson Potter. 

Charred Onion and Chickpea Salad 

Serves 6 to 8 as a side 


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil 
  • 1 large red onion, halved lengthwise, root end of each half left intact 
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 10 ounces dried chickpeas, cooked 
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch) 
  • 4 red jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced 
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • Kosher salt 

Make the salad: 

  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.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Food

In NAFTA talks, U.S. tries to limit junk food warning labels
In NAFTA talks, U.S. tries to limit junk food warning labels

The contentious negotiations over the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement have veered into one of the world’s most pressing health issues: fighting obesity. Urged on by big American food and soft-drink companies, the Trump administration is using the trade talks with Mexico and Canada to try to limit the ability of the pact&rsquo...
All hail kolaches, the buns of Texas
All hail kolaches, the buns of Texas

Kolaches are Czech-born, Texas-favorite soft rolls with a satisfyingly sunken patch of filling. Ask almost anyone from the Lone Star State whether they know about kolache [co-LAHCH] and be prepared for a promotional treatise. Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin stake their own kolache claims, and I would venture to say anyone who has ever tasted the...
A celebration of black Southern food
A celebration of black Southern food

As great restaurants will do, JuneBaby pulled me in from more than one direction. The first, of course, was the sheer pleasure of the cooking. (Without that, the others wouldn’t matter.) The food is Southern, which I was primed to like before I walked through JuneBaby’s Dutch doors in this city’s Ravenna neighborhood. And whenever...
Defiant Rick Pitino insists he did nothing wrong - and wants back in
Defiant Rick Pitino insists he did nothing wrong - and wants back in

When the NCAA basketball tournament games tipped off last Thursday, Rick Pitino was sitting in a lounge chair on the patio of his palatial, waterfront home on a tiny island dubbed the "billionaire bunker." He'd just finished a round of golf. His son, owner of a margarita salt company, watched the early games with him but left in the afternoon...
So many cartons, so little time: A guide to grocery store eggs
So many cartons, so little time: A guide to grocery store eggs

You know the saying. You have to crack a few eggs to make . . . some eggs. But which eggs to crack? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, Americans consumed a little over 19 pounds of eggs per person in 2015, the most recent year with available statistics. That's the equivalent of 144 eggs, and sometimes it feels...
More Stories