The idea for this little salad came from watching Ready, Steady Cook, a British cooking show. I don't remember the original recipe, nor am I inclined to node recipes I don't make, so it is unimportant. I remember the chef putting hot onions at the bottom of the salad, as a sort of 'surprise' to the salad-eater, and I thought "what a delightful idea". So I took the hot onion surprise bit and made my own salad based all around that.

The recipe below is for 2 people. It is a good size salad for a couple. Of course you can multiply the ingredients for as many people as you wish, and indeed it makes a good salad to go with just about any meal that a green salad goes with, but I enjoy eating it just two people, out of the bowl, and discovering together all the goodies (and also fighting over the last bits of onion and cheese).


(For about 2 people)

For the green salad:

For the hot onions: For the sauce:


Make the sauce first - put all the ingredients in a small jar and mix violently for a few seconds. The amounts are not exact, as I never use measuring utensils for measuring amounts. But they are roughly right, and feel free to taste the sauce and change it at will. Notice that the sauce is a variation on vinaigrette. If you don't like it, just make any sauce that you like. I find that any sauce that works on a green salad (including thousand island, etc.) works here. I just noded my favourite sauce for this particular salad. And I especially like the mix of the two vinegars.

Cut about 6 leaves of lettuce into medium sized pieces. (The amount of lettuce will determine the amount of salad, basically, so depending on what lettuce you have, cut enough to fill a medium salad bowl about 1/2 way). Feel free to mix varieties of lettuce. (It IS a green salad). Cut up lots of rocket. 'You can never have too much rocket' is my rule. Again, not too small. Cut them up pretty large. I don't like my green salad chopped up too finely.

Cut the onions up into thin strips. Don't chop the onion into small pieces. It's no fun to find hot chopped onions at the bottom of your salad. Melt the butter in a pan, set on medium heat, and add the onions. Stir occasionally, and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions become all soft and a bit transparent. Don't let them brown too much. If they're browning, you're done. If they brown before 5 minutes are up, your heat is far too high. Add the wine, vinegar and sugar, and mix. Cook together for another 5 minutes or so, until all the liquid has almost evaporated. Take off the heat. Place the onions in a small heap at the bottom of the salad bowl. Cover with the lettuce and rocket leaves. Sprinkle the walnuts over the top and place the goat cheese in one piece on top (or cut it up and sprinkle it with the walnuts if your heart so desires). Cover with the sauce, and serve immediately. You want to serve immediately because you want the onions to be hot.

The onions are a delectable surprise for the unsuspecting diner.

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