We’ve entered into the heart of summer and it’s finally nice and hot. With the heat came the quick ripening on the vine of the carefully cultivated heirloom tomatoes in my backyard garden.
Tomatoes are my favorite harvest. It is incredibly rewarding to be blessed with an abundance of heirloom tomatoes that typically sell at farmer’s markets for $4 to $6 per pound.
And I picked about 10 pounds in one day!
The problem with having this many tomatoes at one time, though, is that heirloom tomatoes don’t last long. You have to eat them quickly.
Enter this quick heirloom tomato salad, topped with feta cheese and crispy oregano. You can finish preparing it in just 10 minutes, and you will be well rewarded for doing so.
This salad is beautiful as a light meal, perhaps with some extra sourdough bread to mop up the flavorful olive oil and vinegar dressing.
It would also be a welcome addition to a summer BBQ dinner. The sweet and juicy burst of flavor from the tomatoes would complement any type of protein.
The salad ingredients are also just right for a really tasty vegetarian sandwich. Just slice the ingredients into bigger pieces and add lettuce.
RECOMMENDED: Caprese Sandwich
RECOMMENDED: Mostly Traditional Ratatouille, Ready In An Hour
What Exactly Is An Heirloom Tomato?
You might be curious about the difference between an heirloom tomato and a regular tomato?
Heirloom tomatoes are tomatoes that you’ll want to slice and eat with a fork. They restore your belief that tomatoes are actually a fruit, because they’re so sweet.
The first thing to know is that an heirloom tomato is precious due to the fact that it hasn’t been genetically altered or hybridized in any way to make it easier to grow, transport, store, and sell.
This makes heirloom tomatoes very delicate. They are more prone to diseases during the growing season, and they crack more easily if there’s too much rainwater. (I’ve got both these issues, which suppressed my harvest.)
However, what heirloom tomatoes are best known for—if you can get your hands on one during the short growing season—is their utterly amazing taste.
Heirloom tomatoes taste like a tomato should. My bet is that they can win over all you self-proclaimed tomato haters out there. I know you don’t appreciate how the global supply of tomatoes have been bred for marketing expediency, and neither do I!
I hope you know that there’s a difference. Imagine tasting a naturally sweet tomato, with a complex and zingy flavor that comes from abundant trace minerals that only nature can provide.
Enjoying one of these with fresh basil is like adding icing to a cake.
Seek out your heirloom tomatoes. It’s worth your effort.
A Note About The Crispy Oregano
I wonder if you knew that crispy oregano was a thing?
I discovered it only because it grows so prolifically in my garden, which forced me to experiment with different ways to enjoy it.
Oregano has a mild pungent flavor, so you can eat quite a bit of it in a single sitting.
One day I discovered that if you sauté fresh oregano in oil or butter it gets crispy. What’s neat about this is that it also retains its bright green hue.
Since I always enjoy feta cheese with fresh herbs for a double whammy of flavor, I thought about combining all these elements into a dressing for this quick heirloom tomato salad.
There’s something to be said for mildly heating olive oil and infusing flavor into it. Okay, I said it!
Just be careful not to overheat the olive oil.
Keep the heat on your oil super gentle and be attentive. You do not need to heat the oil much, and you will be rewarded with the added flavor, while still retaining the health benefits of a cold-pressed olive oil.
Okay summer salad lovers, give this heirloom tomato salad a try, and let me know how it goes in the comments!
Other Summer Salads Your May Love
Quick Heirloom Tomato Salad, With Feta & Crispy Oregano
- 1 cup cucumber, sliced
- 1 Heirloom tomato, sliced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil , extra virgin
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- pinch flake salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- fresh basil, for garnish
- Slice tomatoes and cucumbers and arrange artfully on a plate.
- Crumble feta cheese over the top
- Heat olive oil in a small skillet on medium-low. Add minced garlic and chopped oregano. Stir constantly until the garlic is very lightly browned and the oregano is crispy. (1-2 minutes)
- Drizzle the hot oil over the tomatoes and cucumbers. Sprinkle with flake salt and freshly ground black pepper. Gently tear a few basil leaves and place them on top.