This Roasted Tomato, Sardine & Goat Cheese Salad already has us dreaming of summer. Warm nights eating outside by candlelight, the crickets chirping in the background, a chilled glass of Sancerre in our hand, when life just seems a little bit easier and more carefree… Soon, friends & gatherers, soon!
Until then, conjure up a bit of warm sea breeze with this salad. Easy to pull together, packing a fabulous flavor punch and sure to please! This is a great starter for your next dinner with a few hunks of crusty baguette and a pat of salted butter. If you chop up the sardines and onions a bit smaller than we’ve done here, you can also serve it bruschetta style on toasted slices of ciabatta as an appetizer. Anybody else getting really hungry right now?
Serves 4 as a starter
3 cups grape tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, sliced
6 sprigs thyme
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz (120 g) goat cheese
1 can (3,75 oz/106 g) sardines in olive oil, drained and chopped into large pieces.
1/2 cup Kalamata olives without pits, halved
1/2 cup of red inion, cut into rings
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 tbsp Maldon sea salt flakes
Preheat oven to 400 F (205 C). Peel and slice garlic. Place the grape tomatoes and thyme sprigs in an oven proof dish or small rimmed sheet pan. Scatter the sliced garlic throughout the dish. Squiggle olive oil generously over the tomatoes, thyme and garlic and sprinkle salt on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and wrinkly. Remove the tomatoes, garlic and roasting juices (discard the thyme sprigs or remove the leaves so you don’t have the stalks in your salad) from the pan when they’re done and arrange them on the plate you will be serving on. We’ve put everything on one plate here, but you can also split everything up evenly onto 4 individual plates.
Break the goat cheese into chunks with a sharp knife. Now you can scatter the goat cheese, sardines, olives and onions on top of the tomatoes, alternating a bit to make an eye-pleasing arrangement. Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together until well blended and drizzle over the salad. Top it all off with the sea salt flakes and a couple of grinds of freshly ground pepper.