The Aoelian island of Filicudi takes its caper-growing and its salads seriously. This one – perfect as a simple starter with bread, but also a good accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken - has flavours that shout Mediterranean sunshine and herb-scented hills. Make it a couple of hours in advance if possible to let the flavours develop. You probably won’t find any capers marked Filicudi in the UK, so get caperberries if you can; minute capers in mouth-burningly acid vinegar aren’t worth bothering with.
500g mild onions
120g caperberries, thorougly rinsed and drained
500g intensely flavoured tomatoes, such as pomodorino (mini plum)
1 tbsp small thyme leaves
100ml olive oil
1 tsp caster sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Slice the onions into 6-7mm rounds and separate into rings. Put them into a pan of boiling water, bring back to the boil and boil for two minutes. Drain into a colander and run cold water through for a count of 10. Leave to drain and cool.
Destalk the caperberries and halve them. Halve the pomodorino tomatoes lengthways, or cut larger ones into 4-6 pieces. Chop the herbs if necessary (you don't need to cut the small-leaf thyme).
Put the onions, tomatoes, caperberries and sugar into a serving bowl. Stir in the oil and most of the herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Leave for a couple of hours if possible, then sprinkle over the remaining herbs before serving.