Tomato & Roasted Lemon Salad

Tomato & Roasted Lemon Salad - A vibrant and fresh summer salad adapted from Ottolengi. |

In this monthly series, I commit to cooking whatever is on the cover of Bon Appetit, Saveur or maybe some other food magazine. There’s a reason these particular dishes are on the cover – they’re usually the best recipes in the magazine.

Bon Appetit August 2014

When I saw that the August 2014 issue of Bon Appetit had a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe on the cover, I was both excited and nervous. Ottolenghi is an Israeli-born chef famous for his cookbooks like Plenty and JerusalemA common misconception is that Ottolenghi is a vegetarian, but I learned that was not the case from the article that accompanied the cover recipe. However, vibrant vegetable recipes are certainly his calling card.

While some of his recipes, like the Asparagus Mimosa, are fairly simple to prepare, many others seem needlessly complicated and time-consuming to me. Remember that vegetable tart that took me upwards of two hours to prepare? So, based on my history with his recipes, I wasn’t sure what I would be in for with this tomato and lemon salad. It looked simple enough, but with Ottolenghi recipes, you just never know.


Tomato & Roasted Lemon Salad - A vibrant and fresh summer salad adapted from Ottolengi. |

I won’t say that this was the simplest tomato salad I’ve ever made, because that would be far from the truth. But it wasn’t THAT bad. However, you do have to first boil the lemon slices and them roast them, which seems like a lot of work for a salad. However, all of the rest of the ingredients come together fairly easily.

As far as the flavor, I liked the tart flavor the roasted lemon slices imparted on the tomatoes, but I didn’t like actually eating the lemon slices themselves. They are supposed to be fully edible, as boiling takes away their bitterness, and roasting with a small amount of sugar makes for an almost candied citrus feel. Jeff liked eating them, I didn’t, and you should probably just go ahead and make this salad and decide for yourself. I made a few substitutions to accommodate for ingredients I couldn’t find (microgreens) or didn’t want to buy (pomegranate molasses). My adapted version is below.

Tomato & Roasted Lemon Salad - A vibrant and fresh summer salad adapted from Ottolengi. |

Tomato & Roasted Lemon Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound mixed grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, roughly torn


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degres F. Cook lemon slices in small pot of boiling water 2 minutes; transfer to paper towel and pat dry.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon oil, sage and sugar. Add lemon slices and toss to combine. Lay lemon slices on parchment-lined rimmed baking pan. Transfer to oven and roast 14 to 16 minutes or until lemons are just beginning to brown.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, allspice, salt and pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add tomatoes, onion, mint, parsley and roasted lemon. Toss gently. For best flavor, cover and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

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For more recipes straight from the cover of food magazines, check out my Cook The Cover Archive!


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  1. This recipe sounds very nice, and I am very curious as to where the pomegranate syrup would have gone.  I haven’t had any in years, but I really like pomegranate syrup.  I think it would be worth trying.

    • Hi Susan – I used balsamic vinegar where the pomegranate syrup would have gone, so it was part of the dressing on the salad itself. I just have soooo many half-used ingredients in my cupboards, and I couldn’t bring myself to buy one more, if only for a tablespoon of it. Although, I’m sure it would have added a really great flavor!

    • Thanks for the info, Lori.  I’m not sure I can justify buying pomegranate molasses, either, but it is good to know where it goes in the recipe in case I do buy it.  Balsamic vinegar is an excellent substitution IMO.

    • Sometimes I wish you could buy specialty ingredients like this in little 2 tablespoon packages. Of course, all of the packaging would be bad for the environment, but it would be so nice in instances like this 🙂

  2. Roasting lemons brings out the best in its flavours! I love bright salads such as this 🙂

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  3. I have to be honest . . . I was a little afraid of eating a lemon rind when you first put the salad in front of me.  However, with the slight charring they actually become quite tasty.  I would be more than willing to eat a dish with roasted lemon any time. 

  4. wow, I love tomatoes! I bet this salad smells amazing as you prepare it, will def try!

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