Mediterranean Tomato Salad with Onion, Spiced Feta, and Preserved Lemon
This Mediterranean Tomato Salad is irresistible. Indeed, its bright flavors make it an ideal foil for kebabs and other grilled meats. Best of all? The bulk of the work can be done well in advance.
Summer was made for salads. The gorgeous fresh produce in the garden, and at the market, beckons. Plus, the heat makes us want to step away from the stove and prepare something light, cool, and refreshing.
One of my favorite summer ingredients is fresh tomatoes. After a long winter of mealy, unripe tomatoes, I’m always ready for summer’s bounty. In recent years, the selection of gorgeous tomatoes of rainbow colors has continued to expand. Each color, size and shape bursts with its own unique flavors — some tart, some sweet. Together, they play together like a beautiful orchestra — as pleasing to the eye as to the palate.
This is a terrific salad to make on a day when you find gorgeous, ripe summer tomatoes at the market — or in your garden. If you have a bumper crop of tomatoes — so much the better. If your tomatoes are the full-sized variety, use them anyway. However, do take the time to peel, seed, and dice them. Otherwise, the salad will be too juicy.
This particular salad is a riff on a classic recipe from Paula Wolfert’s The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean: 215 Healthy, Vibrant, and Inspired Recipes. I have maintained the harmony of the original Lebanese salad, but have changed the cast of characters a bit.
Rather than putting you to the hassle of peeling and seeding tomatoes — which does have its pluses — I’ve opted for a colorful mix of small heirloom tomatoes. A tad juicier, yes. However, if you assemble your salad at the time of serving, it won’t last long enough to get overly juicy. In addition I’ve added a quick, red onion and preserved lemon pickle to garnish.