Roasted Red Onion, Rocket and Parmesan Salad

This salad is made with slightly charred oven-roasted red onions, which are then marinated in olive oil and lime juice and layered with rocket leaves and flakes of parmesan. A truly wonderful combination.

Vegetarians might like to know that a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese is available from

Serves 4

This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (May 1993).

Roasted Red Onion, Rocket and Parmesan Salad
 8 medium red onions
 2 oz (50 g) rocket (or mixed green salad leaves)
 2 oz (50 g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), flaked (using a potato peeler); see recipe introduction
 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 1 fat clove garlic
 juice 1 lime
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
 Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6
You will also need a good solid baking sheet 15 x 11 inches (37.5 x 28 cm).


First of all, peel and cut each onion in half then into approximately ¾ inch (2 cm) sections, and arrange these in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Use 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to brush the surface of the slices, then season them with salt and pepper and place on a high shelf in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until they are beginning to look toasted at the edges and feel tender when pierced with a skewer.

Meanwhile make the dressing: using a pestle and mortar crush the garlic with 1 teaspoon of salt until you have a smooth creamy paste. Whisk in the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of oil and a good grinding of black pepper. As soon as the onions are ready, remove them from the oven and, using a palette knife, transfer them to a bowl.

Pour the dressing over while they are still warm, tossing them around to coat well with dressing. Leave them on one side until they're quite cool.

To assemble the salad, arrange the ingredients in layers, first a layer of rocket leaves, then onions and then flakes of Parmesan, sprinkling with dressing as you go.

Continue like this, finishing off with a layer of Parmesan, and serve with ciabatta warm from the oven.

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