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Chickpea and Charred Onion Salad

Author: Adapted from The Home Cook by Alex Guarnaschelli


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced, then cut the slices neatly into about 1" pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 scallions, sliced


  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When it begins to smoke lightly, add the onion and 1 tsp salt. Turn the heat up to high and cook, stirring from time to time, until the onions darken and char but do not burn, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • In a large salad bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, and coriander. Add water as needed to make it a creamy dressing consistency (I needed almost ½ cup).
  • Stir in the chickpeas, onion, scallions, and more salt to taste. Serve immediately.


Recipe is adapted from The Home Cook by Alex Guarnaschelli (also check out her Pasta Puttanesca and Salted Butter Shortbreads). I adapted this to use canned beans because 1) I adore the convenience of canned beans and don’t find them lacking in any way compared to their supposedly superior dried siblings; and 2) um, it’s a salad. So the beans part is ridiculously easy, which leaves us with the onions as being the only real cooking step. You want your onions to be in bigger pieces than a chopped onion, but smaller than halved slices. I sliced the onion and then cut the slices neatly into about one-inch pieces. You want them charred and browned, that’s where you get the flavor and light crunch. By the way, do you know how hard it is to char onions when you’re trying to char onions?! I mean, when you saute the onion and don’t want it to brown, it browns in the two seconds you glanced at your phone, right? But trust me, purposely charring an onion takes more time than you think. No one knows why. Otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward!