Dear SOS: I am utterly obsessed with the curried chickpeas at Joan's on Third. They are the best curried chickpeas I've ever had. Every time I go there I order them as part of the salad trio (a selection of three salads from their daily specials on the marketplace menu). I should know by now that I should order just the chickpeas because they're all I ever want to eat (well, that and a number of things from the bakery).
Dear Lauren: The curry blend in this recipe gives an otherwise simple salad wonderful depth and robust flavor. Coriander and cumin lend fragrant earthiness, with a little cayenne pepper added for a hint of heat. The caramelized onions add richness, and the cilantro and lemon juice brighten the salad nicely, distinguishing the flavors. You can make it in advance; this is one salad that improves with an hour or two of chilling time.
Total time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time
Note: Adapted from Joan's on Third
1/2 cup diced onions
4 teaspoons best-quality olive oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
1. In a large saute pan heated over medium-high heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until deep golden and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic and lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the chickpeas, cilantro and lemon juice and continue to stir to develop the flavors, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt, or to taste.
4. Cool the salad, then transfer it to a container, cover and refrigerate until chilled before serving, at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning and lemon juice as desired. This makes just over 3 cups salad.
Each of 4 servings: 238 calories; 9 grams protein; 37 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams fiber; 6 grams fat; 1 grams saturated fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 276 mg. sodium.