• Cherry Tomato and Israeli Feta Salad

    by Dorothy Reinhold on September 18, 2019


    Print This Post Print This Post Cherry Tomato and Israeli Feta Salad is a perfect marriage of summer-ripe cherry tomatoes, zingy Israeli feta cheese and salty olives. Mint is the wild card, but don't leave it out. You could make a meal of this when tomatoes are in season!

    Cherry Tomato and Israeli Feta Salad is a perfect marriage of summer-ripe cherry tomatoes, zingy Israeli feta cheese and salty olives. Mint is the wild card, but don’t leave it out. You could make a meal of this when tomatoes are in season!

    When is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? (With apologies to Aristotle.)

    When it is a seemingly simple Cherry Tomato and Israeli Feta Salad created by caterer Gisele Perez, who owned Small Pleasures Catering in Los Angeles, and blogs at Pain Perdu.

    I tasted her tomato-feta salad at a party she threw, and I was smitten. I nibbled at her tapenade, always a favorite, I snarfed up her asparagus and her Caponata, and I kept coming back to the tomato salad. I might have gone back for fourths (don’t tell anyone). She agreed to share it with you today. Enjoy! –Dorothy

    __________________________

    Gisele PerezBy Gisele Perez

    A few weeks ago I was walking through the Santa Monica Farmers Market when I noticed a sign at a farmer’s booth — “World’s Best Tomatoes.”  I walked over to get a better look.

    “Oh well,” I said to him, “since they’re the world’s best tomatoes…” I bought a basket, even though I had already purchased other tomatoes that day.

    Sungold cherry tomatoes“Yep, Sun Golds” he said, “the world’s best. So sweet, they’re like candy.” I ate them several times that week.

    Fast forward a week or so, and I’m planning the menu for the regular summer Rosé Fest (and here and here) I host at my home, where we sample several blush wines and the sun-kissed foods they were meant to accompany. The menu always includes a summery tomato, basil and buffala mozzarella or burratta salad, but this year I’m yearning for something a little different. I’m feeling the need for a bit more zing.

    And the Sun Golds are haunting me. I can’t get the humble tomato and feta salad I prepare for myself so frequently out of my mind. It’s often a go-to on summer days when I don’t feel like cooking. I make a meal of it with hummus and pita, or with a couple of pieces of fried chicken from the fast food place down the hill (tomato salads happen to be one of my favorite sides with fried chicken). Do I go with my humble lazy-day salad?

    “I love, love, loved that tomato salad,” says Dorothy, at Rosé Fest.“I could have made an entire meal of it. Would you consider doing a guest post for me?”

    “Really?” I responded. “It’s so simple as to barely warrant a recipe. Mostly an example of using great ingredients.”

    Then Dorothy reminded me that I shouldn’t underestimate simple preparations. It’s true — I often do exactly that.

    So I got to thinking about what makes the salad work so well. And yes, it’s also true that this salad owes its deliciousness to great ingredients — the contrast of the Sun Golds and Sweet 100 tomatoes with the zingy Israeli Feta, which when I discovered it, became my preferred Feta. It’s slightly creamier than other Fetas, and a bit less tangy. Add extra virgin olive oil, a hint of garlic, a great balsamic vinegar and sprinkling of mint, and voilá – a simple salad to love.

    Cherry Tomato and Israeli Feta Salad

    Cherry Tomato and Israeli Feta Salad

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Yield: Serves 6-8

    Cherry Tomato and Israeli Feta Salad is a perfect marriage of summer-ripe cherry tomatoes, zingy Israeli feta cheese and salty olives. Mint is the wild card, but don't leave it out. You could make a meal of this when tomatoes are in season!

    Ingredients

    • 3-4 large cloves of garlic
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 basket Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    • 1 basket Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (Kirkland brand balsamic from Costco preferred)
    • 2/3 cups kalamata olives, pitted
    • 5-6 ounces Israeli Feta cheese (available at Trader Joe’s)
    • 12-16 mint leaves, torn
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Directions

    1. Mince the garlic, then sprinkle it with a healthy pinch of kosher salt. Mash the garlic to a paste using the side of a knife, then stir it into the olive oil in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Mix the cut cherry tomatoes into the olive oil mixture.
    3. Pour the balsamic over the tomatoes, mixing lightly, being careful not to break up the tomatoes. Then mix in the olives.
    4. Crumble the feta cheese over the salad. Sprinkle with the torn mint leaves, and season to taste with the freshly ground black pepper.
    5. Makes 6-8 salad servings. Of course, if you are making an entire meal of it, all bets are off.

    Notes

    Recipe source: Gisele Perez from Pain Perdu blog.

    https://www.shockinglydelicious.com/cherry-tomato-and-israeli-feta-salad/

    pin this please!Pin the image below to your Pinterest board to save this recipe!

    Cherry Tomato and Feta Salad on ShockinglyDelicious.com

    This was originally published Aug. 15, 2012 and has been refreshed and republished today.



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