Roasted Onion Tomato Salad w/ Herb Feta

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Face it, tomatoes are not all that great in the winter. Sometimes a conventional salad does not really fit the mood of a cold night. Though this salad has a lot of moving parts, the final product is a flavorful medley of Mediterranean flavors. Served at room temperature, it fits the season.

I like to serve this salad before a stew, such as our world famous lamb stew.

Both dishes can be scaled up for large crowds and can be made earlier in the day, so you can enjoy your own party.

Steak Salad Suggestion:  If you want to make this a one-dish meal, add the marinated & grilled skirt steak.  After grilling, cut the steak in one-inch strips and place on top of the salad or mix it in.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 7 Roasted Roma Tomatoes , halved
  • 3-4 roasted red onions, depending on size,
  • 4 roasted red bell peppers cut in 1/4s cut into 1/4s
  • 4 cups of ciabatta mustard thyme bread crumbs
  • 2 cups herb feta cheese
  • Sherry wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Lemon

Making It

  • Roast 7 Roma tomatoes
  • Peel and chop the red onions into 1/4 ‘boats’, put on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper and 1 teaspoon of chopped thyme leaves, and on two other baking sheets do the same with the red peppers and tomatoes, but just halve the tomatoes
  • Cut ciabatta bread into 1/2 inch cubs, toss with 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of mustard, 1 teaspoon of thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Prepare 2 cups of the herb feta cheese

Time to Cook

  • Set the oven to 425 degrees, roast the tomatoes, peppers  and onions in separate baking sheets for 20-25 minutes. (You can leave the onions in longer if you want them charred.) Take out and let cool.  When roasting, put the onions on the top rack and tomatoes on the middle
  • Roast the croutons on the middle rack at 400 for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown
  • Mix the vegetables with the feta to let the ingredients to intensify the flavor (save the olive oil, discard the herbs)
  • Before serving, mix 1 cup of the marinated olive oil from the feta with 1/2 cup of sherry wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of fresh juice from a lemon, one  teaspoon of thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, mix in the blender
  • Add croutons to the salad and coat with dressing to taste.  Serve immediately so the croutons do not become mushy

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