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