Tomato and olive salad with roasted onions and thyme was borne out of a need to come up with something quickly because I feared I didn’t have enough to feed my guests. A friend of mine has a wonderful expression: “maximum impact for minimum effort.” With just a few ingredients, this salad does just that, with juicy, ripe baby tomatoes, black olives with a hint of chilli, fresh thyme leaves and beautifully sweet roasted red onion. How simple is that? Cook the onions a day ahead if you like, and bring them to room temperature before adding them to the salad. If you want to make it more substantial, try adding some chunks of goat’s cheese and a handful of walnuts.
I served this salad for my annual ladies’ lunch. Here’s another recipe for a quick salad with only a few ingredients: Little Gem Lettuce with Buttermilk Herb Dressing
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Tomato and Olive Salad with Roasted Onions and Thyme
- 3 punnets mixed baby tomatoes
- 3 red onions
- 1 cup pitted kalamta olives
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves
- chilli flakes as much or as little as you like
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- flaked sea salt ansd cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a small baking dish with baking paper.
- Cut the red onion into quarters. Leave the skins and ends on. The skins are easy to peel off once cooked, and leaving their tops and tails on ensures that the onion segments don't fall apart.
- Place the onion quarters all together, keeping them fairly tightly packed. Drizzle with a little olive oil, add a little salt, cover in aluminium foil. Cook for about 40 minutes until the onions are soft. Remove them from the oven and cool. When they're cool enough to handle, peel off the outer skins of the onions.
- While the onions are cooking, wash and halve the baby tomatoes. Place them in a serving bowl and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Add the drained olives, thyme leaves and chilli flakes, then toss in the cooled onion quarters.
- Drizzle a litte olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top. The flavours are pretty strong, so you may not need any additional seasoning.