Chef's Recipes

Cucumber, olive and roasted-onion salad

A refreshing salad that still packs a punch thanks to the black olives and lightly pickled cucumber.

By Mike Eggert & Jemma Whiteman
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking plus pickling, cooling
  • Serves 6
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"Cold salty cucumber just makes us happy," says Jemma Whiteman, one half of Pinbone, who created this recipe for the Mr Liquor's Dirty Italian Disco pop-up in Sydney. "This salad came about because we wanted all our favourite things in one bowl – sweet roasted onions, briny olives and refreshing cucumber. We work in a hot tin shed surrounded by wood fire so we love the fresh cooling effect of this tasty salad."


  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, chopped into 2cm-3cm chunks
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 5 salad onions, green tops thinly sliced and reserved
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup (40gm) black olives, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup watercress leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves, torn
  • 2 oregano sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp honey


  • 1
    Combine cucumber with sugar, garlic and 1 tsp sea salt in a bowl and leave to pickle for at least 1 hour or refrigerate to pickle overnight.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 200°C. Toss onion bulbs with half the olive oil, transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast, turning occasionally, until softened and starting to caramelise (25-30 minutes). Cool, then quarter onions lengthways.
  • 3
    Drain cucumber, combine with onions, olives, watercress, mint, oregano and onion tops. Dress with lemon juice, honey and remaining olive oil. Season with cracked black pepper – the cucumber and olives are already salty – and serve.
  • undefined: Mike Eggert & Jemma Whiteman