You need roasted lemons in your life! Try this tomato and herb salad with roasted lemons.
When I was in cooking school we used to roast citrus fruits a lot… lately I’ve been seeing this technique making a comeback in lots of blogs. The one that inspired me most is from Epicurious, so a big thanks to them! And, now that I tried it in this salad, I remember why it’s so good.
If I had to pick one word to describe this salad it would be: “bright”. Because it is. It’s bright in color and it’s bright in flavor.
I made it the other day to have for lunch. The day kind of got away from me (as it often does) and all of a sudden it was time for dinner. So, while I ate this as a salad, I cooked some gnocchi for Steve and tossed them with lots of this salad. And yes, now that’s his new favorite dish: Gnocchi with Tomato And Herb Salad With Roasted Lemons…
When you slice up lemons, sweeten them, add some herbs, and then roast them, the most amazing thing happens… the lemon peels take on the best flavor and texture ever! I know to a lot of people it seems weird to eat the peels of the lemons, but believe me, this recipe will make you a big fan. I like to eat the rinds of citrus fruits whenever I can — I like the taste and the nutritional benefit is awesome. My favorite lemonade recipe includes the peels, so if you want to try another lemon-peel recipe, try my Strawberry Whole-Lemon Lemonade recipe.
In this salad, I’ve used lots of fresh herbs because the really taste great with the tart lemons. I love a dish that begs for lots of fresh herbs… it kind of puts me in my happy place!
Aside from the delicious brightness of this salad, here’s why you should try it:
Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels.
In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.
Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!
Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…
Mint is a Chinese herb called Bo He. It’s one of the best things to fight a cold, sore throat, or fever and it’s good for some abdominal pains too.
- 1 lemon, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced and seeds removed
- 1 Tbs sliced fresh sage leaves
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb multi-colored grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 Tbs roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 Tbs roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- For dressing:
- 1 Tbs pomegranate molasses
- ½ tsp allspice
- 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 325°F Convection setting, or 350°F regular bake setting.
- Boil the lemon slices in a small pot of water for 1 minute.
- Drain the lemon slices and toss them in a small bowl with the sage, coconut sugar, and 1 Tbs of oil.
- Spread the slices onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and put them in the oven for 15- to 20- minutes or until they start to brown.
- Make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the onion, mint, and cilantro. Add the lemon slices.
- Toss with the dressing.
- Serve as a side salad or mix into a hot bowl of gnocchi for a real treat! Enjoy!