Charred sweet onion salad

Charred sweet onion salad

Dig In!
Mark Roper

This salad has a strong salt hit from the cheese and prosciutto, acid from the lemon, sweetness from the honey-glazed almonds and smokiness from the charred onions. The juicy pear and cucumber add a refreshing note.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 baby onions, halved lengthways but not peeled
20g butter
80g almonds
2 teaspoons honey
250ml apple cider vinegar
220g sugar
10 asparagus spears, trimmed
60g rocket leaves
6 slices prosciutto
3 baby cucumbers
or 1 lebanese cucumber
60g baby english spinach leaves
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into small wedges
100g goat's cheese, crumbled


Quantity Ingredient
1 lemon, zested and juiced
60ml olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard


  1. Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat and season the oil with salt. Place the onions, cut side down, in an even layer around the frying pan. Cook for 6-7 minutes then add the butter and cover the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside to cool.
  2. Wipe out the frying pan with paper towel then place it back over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook until lightly golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add the honey and cook for a further minute, tossing to coat the nuts, then remove them from the heat. Transfer them to a plate, set aside to cool down slightly.
  3. In a large saucepan over high heat, put the vinegar, sugar and 125 ml water. Bring to the boil then remove the pan from the heat. Remove the outer skin of the cooled onions and put them in the liquid. Set them aside to cool down in the liquid for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove and transfer straight to iced water to halt the cooking process.
  5. Wipe out the frying pan with paper towel, set it over medium heat and add the prosciutto. Cook it until caramelised and crispy then transfer to paper towel. Add the asparagus to the same pan and cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the pan and slice the spears in half lengthways.
  6. For the dressing, in a bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until incorporated. Slice the cucumbers in half then remove the seeds with a spoon. Slice the cucumber into 2 cm chunks, combine them with the remaining ingredients, except the almonds and goats cheese. Drizzle over the dressing and top with the almonds and crumbled cheese.
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