"You can make this salad well in advance, even the day before; just bring it to room temperature before serving. If you have any leftovers, it makes a great filling for veggie lasagne or goes really well, reheated, with lamb." ~ Anna Gare.
12 firm, ripe roma (plum) tomatoes, halved lengthways
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) olive oil, plus extra, for brushing and drizzling
3 tsp sugar, plus an extra pinch
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 red onions, peeled
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar, plus extra, for drizzling
2 eggplants (aubergines)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A few thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 handful of oregano or basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 100C (210F).
Lay the tomato halves, cut side up, on a large, rectangular ovenproof cooling rack. Lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sugar, sea salt and pepper. Stand the rack on a baking tray.
Bake for 3 hours, or until semi-dried. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Heat the oven to 180C (350F). Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Cut each onion into 6–8 wedges. Spread the wedges evenly on a prepared baking tray. Drizzle generously with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with 3 teaspoons of sugar and some sea salt and pepper.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, then cut each half into 6–8 wedges.
Mix 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the garlic and some pepper and sea salt. Brush the mixture on both sides of each wedge and lay them flat on the remaining baking tray.
Bake both trays of vegetables for about 25 minutes, turning the wedges over halfway through the cooking time. The eggplant should be golden and still holding its shape.
Allow to cool completely before moulding.
Mould the salad by lining a 2-litre (70 fl oz/8 cup) stainless-steel bowl with plastic wrap.
Cover the base and side of the bowl with some of the roasted eggplants, tomatoes and onions. Make it look pretty.
Combine the remaining roasted veggies and fresh herbs in a separate bowl. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tossing gently.
Spoon the mixture into the centre of the lined bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and press down gently. Allow to rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Unmould by turning the salad upside down onto a large platter, and serve.
Delicious with an extra drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs sprinkled on top.
Credits: Images and recipes from Delicious Every Day by Anna Gare (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99)
Photo Credits: Images and recipes from Delicious Every Day by Anna Gare (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99)