This is the first summer we’ve been able to grow our own rocket, the first time it’s been possible to buy young rocket plants at the vivero. It grows well and with regular watering it’s possible to cut enough for a salad for two, every 2-3 days. So that, combined with a gift from Pablo of onions freshly dug from his huerta which are so sweet and run with juice when cut, there’s only one thing to make with them: Delia’s onion salad. This is our version which involves roasting the onions rather than grilling them, it would take all day with our under-powered grill. 3-4 large Spanish onions
Rocket leaves, washed
Juice of a lemon
Olive oil Preheat the oven to 200°C. Trim the top and bottom off the onions, leaving on the skin, and slice the onions into large slices about 1cm thick. Grease a metal baking tray and lay the onion slices on it, two trays of onion slices is enough for two hungry people.
Brush each slice with olive oil, sprinkled with freshly-ground black pepper. Bake in the oven until browned around the edges, usually about 15 minutes. Turn the slices over, brush with olive oil, and return to the oven. Check again in 10 minutes. The onion needs to be browned but not burnt, yellow and translucent in the middle. Remove from the oven. The skin and outer layer, which protected the tender inner rings during roasting, can then be peeled away and discarded. Separate each onion slice into separate rings, and set aside in a bowl to cool [not in the fridge]. Meanwhile, assemble the other ingredients for the salad. The salad should only be assembled immediately before you eat. Prepare the parmesan at the last moment so it doesn’t dry out, we prefer it in long strips cut with a vegetable peeler. When you are ready to eat, start by layering the rocket, parmesan and onion in turn in a large salad bowl, sprinkling each layer with lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. When everything is in the bowl, sprinkle with olive oil.
5 to remember
el vivero – garden centre
la rúcola – rocket [salad leaf]
la huerta – vegetable garden
el regalo – gift
dulce – sweet