Latin Twist: Garbanzo, Roasted Pepper and Scallion Salad


This, my friends, is an interesting time of year…and we’ve all got a lot going on! Now, many of you have said to me that you’re looking for something different—a little taste of variety. And so, mis queridos amigos, I bring you a salsa-meets-salad option: the Garbanzo, Roasted Pepper, and Scallion Salad.

My biggest introduction to garbanzos was in Spain. Actually one of my dear friends lived in an apartment with Doña Carmen (Jamie, it was Doña Carmen, right?!) who fed her garbanzos almost every day!  Now, Doña Carmen—and there are, my friends more stories that we could share over a sangría—was doing this for economic reasons, but we all learned a lot about garbanzos (and more!) from her. The nice things about these nutty- flavored beans is that they marry well with many flavors. I especially like them with tomatoes, and thyme—though here were using roasted peppers and thyme.

Now I’m thinking that the seasonally-colored and deliciously-flavored Garbanzo, Roasted Pepper, and Scallion salad may make a side-dish appearance on my Thanksgiving table! Would love to hear your ideas! ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Garbanzo, Roasted Pepper and  Scallion Salad Photo by Miki Duisterhof from Nueva Salsa (Palomino/Gargagliano, Chronicle Books, 2003)

Latin Twist: Garbanzo, Roasted Pepper and Scallion Salad

Yield: 3 cups

The Garbanzo, Roasted Pepper and Scallion Salad, adapted from Nueva Salsa, a book I worked on with Chef/Restaurateur Rafael Palomino, is a great side dish for grilled vegetables, meat or fish, or even a Thanksgiving turkey! An optional addition to this one is adding a chopped hard-boiled egg.


  • 1 cup roasted corn kernels
  • 1 ½ cups cooked garbanzo beans (in a pinch, use a 15-ounce can of rinsed and drained beans)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ red onion, julienned
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions, including pale green parts
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black epper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the cilantro.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Let sit for about 20 minutes, then stir in cilantro and serve—or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Return to room temperature and stir in the cilantro just before serving.


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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