chickpea salad with bacon, chiles, and cotija recipe
Recipe type: salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
  • ½ pound dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked overnight in cold salted water at room temperature
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 carrot, cut into 3-inch segments
  • 1 onion, split in half
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 3-inch segments, divided
  • salt
  • 2 poblano or Anaheim chilies (I used poblanos -- wonderful!)
  • 4 to 5 ounces bacon
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons, per Kenji))
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons juice from 2 limes, plus 1 extra lime cut into wedges
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts only
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Drain chickpeas after the overnight soak and place in a large pot with bay leaf, carrot, onion, and celery.
  2. Cover with cold water by 2 inches, season with salt, bring to a boil, decrease to simmer, and cook until the chickpeas are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Discard bay leaf, carrot, onion, and celery.
  3. Drain and rinse beans under cold running water until chilled. Let drain in a colander and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, char those chiles! I have a gas stove, so I did it directly on the burners (see my photo above). After completely blackening the chiles, I placed them in a paper bag to steam and cool. The skins slipped right off. You may need to rinse the chiles gently to remove some of the char. Kenji explains his method in the broiler: Place chiles on a foil-lined broiler pan, broiler on, turning chiles occasionally, until completely blackened on all surfaces, about 15 minutes total. Crimp foil to seal around the chilies and set aside for 10 minutes. Then, when cool, peel the chiles using your fingers.
  5. Whichever method you choose, discard skin, stems, and seeds and slice flesh into thin strips. And, whichever method you choose, the chiles end up smelling GREAT.
  6. Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, until crisp. Remove from heat and stir in sliced shallots and garlic. Immediately transfer to a large bowl. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons lime juice and whisk to combine. This step also smells wonderful.
  7. Now add those garbanzo beans add to bacon mixture. Add chile strips, cotija, scallions, and cilantro and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve immediately with lime wedges, or for better results, store overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator. Salad will keep for up to three days. Eat and I found the overnight salad-sit made for a better meld of flavors, for sure.
Recipe by story of a kitchen at