Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tomato, Feta, and Kalamata Olive Salad

This salad is an all-time favorite among my friends. In the summer, when I grow heirloom tomatoes, I eat a version of this salad every night with dinner. If I could grow only one thing in my garden, it would be tomatoes. I grow an assortment of heirloom tomatoes in a range of colors, oranges, yellows, reds, purples, and green zebras. My daughter recently told me that they sell this kind of salad as an appetizer at fancy restaurants for $15 a plate and call it by some upscale name that I can’t remember. I find that hilarious. For a party or barbecue, try making this recipe with a colorful array of heirloom tomatoes. It will be the most popular dish on the table!


6 large heirloom tomatoes, assorted colors
1 c. crumbled Feta cheese
1 c. pitted Kalamanta olives
2 c. chopped fresh basil leaves
4-6 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
½ c. chopped red onions (optional)


Slice the tomatoes and lay them in a deep serving platter. Crumble the Feta cheese over the tomatoes. A note about Feta: this cheese can be made from cow milk, sheep milk, and/or goat milk. I like to use the purely goat milk Feta because I prefer the flavor. Scatter olives across the salad. Top with finely chopped basil leaves (and chopped onions if desired). Just before serving, sprinkle the olive oil and red wine vinegar onto the salad so that all parts receive a sprinkle. How much oil and vinegar? It varies depending on how many tomatoes you have (what sizes they are). You don’t want the salad to be too soggy, but you can be pretty generous with the oil and vinegar. I like to chill the tomatoes in advance for this salad.

This recipe is for the royal treatment version of this salad. I frequently make it with just the tomatoes, basil, oil, and vinegar. Left-over tomatoes (that have marinated in the oil and vinegar overnight) are terrific on a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

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