Grilled Onion Salad with Sumac and Herbs

The humble alium gets a makeover.

  • Serves

    serves 4

  • Cook

    25 minutes


By Yasmin Khan

Published on July 27, 2021

Inspired by the ocakbaşı restaurants of London’s Little Istanbul, this tangy onion salad from cookbook author Yasmin Khan is a common accompaniment to kebabs. While it is typically made using the juice from pickled turnips, feel free to use any sour pickle juice you have as a substitute.



  • 3 medium white onions, each cut into 6 wedges
  • ¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 14 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp. sour pickle juice
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. ground sumac
  • 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp. chopped mint leaves


Step 1

In a bowl, toss the onions with 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon salt.

Step 2

Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook, turning occasionally, until softened and charred all over, 10–12 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk the molasses, ¼ cup water, pickle juice, lime juice, sumac, Aleppo pepper, and the remaining oil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Step 4

Transfer the onions to the bowl of dressing. Toss in the herbs. Serve hot or at room temperature.

The humble onion is often treated as an afterthought, but handled correctly can star in dishes. See our top 50 Onion Recipes »

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