fancy & beautiful tomato salad

from Bon Appétit.

ingredients

  • 1½ pounds heirloom tomatoes (about 3 medium), cored and cut into wedges
  • 12 ounces mixed cherry tomatoes, halved across equators
  • 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided plus more
  • zest from about ¼ lemon + juice from about ½ lemon
  • ½ garlic clove, grated
  • 6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons za’atar
  • 3 cups pita chips
  • 1½ teaspoons (or more) honey
  • 3½ ounces Greek feta
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves

method

  1. Transfer tomatoes to a large bowl; season with 1¼ tsp. salt. That salt is going to draw out moisture from the tomatoes, which will intensify their flavor. Stir to gently combine (be careful with those delicate tomatoes!); set aside.
  2. Heat 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium until just starting to shimmer, about 2 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. za’atar and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and darker in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in reserved lemon zest and garlic. Wait 10 seconds, then remove from heat. (You’re looking to cook off the raw flavor of the garlic without losing the brightness of the lemon.)
  3. Place pita chips in a medium bowl. Pour about 2 Tbsp. za’atar oil over; season with salt. Mix well with a rubber spatula, aiming to coat chips without breaking them into too many pieces.
  4. Squeeze 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon) into a small bowl. Add 1½ tsp. honey and ½ tsp. salt. Add remaining za’atar oil, stirring constantly, until emulsified (meaning that you don’t see any beads of separated oil). Taste dressing and add more lemon, honey, or salt if needed.
  5. Slice 3½ oz. feta into thin planks, then add to bowl with reserved tomatoes. Tear any large ½ cup basil leaves and ½ cup mint leaves (if you have shears, you can cut them to avoid bruising and browning!) and add to bowl. Drizzle about 3 Tbsp. dressing over and toss to gently combine (your tomatoes are precious, delicate gems).
  6. Add pita chips to bowl (don’t leave leftover oil behind—scrape that in too) and fold gently to combine. Spoon salad onto platter, making sure to leave no juices behind. Drizzle with remaining za’atar oil. Eat fast for crunchy chips or let sit for a crispy-gone-soggy experience.

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