August 22, 2009
One of the bummers of summer coming to an end is that excellent tomatoes vanish. The days of collecting big bags of succulent locally-grown tomatoes from the farmer’s market will be long gone. Boo. Before that happens and I go into withdrawal and deep depression, I’m making all of the yummy summer tomato recipes that I can. Here’s a recipe for a delicious fresh tomato salad that couldn’t be easier.
Don’t let the fancy title fool you. It’s way simple, and you can use whatever quantities and whatever ingredients you like. You could add roasted red pepper, mint, olives, capers, pine nuts…anything your little heart desires! As my old boss would say, you’re only limited by your imagination! He would also say that it’s easier to ask forgiveness rather than permission, but the company folded so I’m thinking that maybe that wasn’t such a good philosophy. This salad is good though!
Tomato Salad with Feta, Basil and Balsamic Reduction
1 large tomato
2 small or 1 medium tomato, chopped
2 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Dash of lemon pepper
2 tablespoons or more feta (I like more!)
Lettuce for serving
Balsamic Reduction (cook 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar over low heat until it thickens slightly. Cool before using.)
First, make the receptacle for the salad. Turn the large tomato upside down,with the stem side down. Make 4 cuts, like you’re making an asterisk, but don’t cut all the way through; only a little more than 3/4 of the way down. You want to be able to spread the “petals” of the tomato to make room for the salad to sit. Place the tomato on a bed of torn lettuce.
Mix the chopped tomato with the basil, lemon juice, olive oil, lemon pepper and feta. Toss lightly together, and spoon into the center of the prepared tomato. Drizzle with the reduced balsamic. Voila! Vive la Summer!