Tomato and red onion salad, soft goat’s cheese, toasted onion crumb and olive oil dressing
Beautiful fresh favours, make this salad perfect as a starter or a light main course served with some crusty bread.
Thinking ahead: The dried red onion can be prepared in advance the day before, as they take 3 hours to cook and will hold in an airtight container overnight. Tomatoes should be cut and seasoned 30 to 60 minutes before you need to serve.
200g red onions
500g heritage tomatoes or a good quality selection from the supermarket
20g chopped shallots – diced small
100ml olive oil
2 x 25ml white wine vinegar
100g panko breadcrumbs
100g baby onions
150g goat’s cheese – tear into small pieces
Method of work: For the dried onions, peel the red onions leaving them whole and then slice thinly. Place the onions on a tray with greaseproof paper and place in an oven at 100 degrees for 3 hours. Take out of the oven and place on a cold surface, the onions will be crispy and may break, gently transfer them to an airtight container until ready to use – up to 24 hours. Use the best whole rings for presentation and the broken ones can be used for the crumb.
Slice 250g of the tomatoes and place in a bowl, with the other 250g cut into different size wedges and add to the same bowl, sprinkle with the salt and shallots and drizzle over the olive oil and white wine vinegar, gentle combine the ingredients together. Do these 30 to 60 minutes before serving to allow the tomatoes to take on the seasoning and flavour and the ingredients will start to form a natural dressing.
Whilst the tomatoes are marinating mix together the breadcrumbs with a little oil, place in an oven at 180 degrees after 8 minutes check them and continue until a golden colour is achieved. Allow to cool down and then mix in a bowl with 125g of the dried onion and using a rubbing technique (as used for a crumble topping mix) rub together until a rustic crumb is formed, do not do too much as it will form a powder.
Peel and cut the baby onions in half, place cut side down into a pan with a little oil, put on a high heat and colour. Deglaze the pan with white wine vinegar.
To serve, arrange some of the sliced tomatoes on each plate, then some wedges and then add the rest of the sliced tomatoes, finish with a wedge, doing it this way should help hold it together. Put the scoured baby onions and goat’s cheese pieces around the tomatoes and place the remaining crispy onion rings on top. To finish, pour a little of the tomato dressing from the bowl over and around the tomatoes and sprinkle the toasted crumb over and around.