Summer is still going strong in California, and I harvested a big basket full of Heirloom Tomatoes last weekend. Needless to say, I have been hunting for recipes to bring these babies to good use, and after grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Tomato & Red Pepper Gazpacho, and Basil Tomato Pizza, I now needed something new, possibly with a fruit pairing, as I had ordered some lovely peaches, nectarines and oranges from specialty foods online, to really enjoy the taste of fresh homegrown heirloom Tomatoes. That's when I hit the jackpot by finding this amazingly simple but very refreshing Summer Salad recipe that bursts with flavor and shouts out SUMMER with full force!
This Summer salad recipe (image & recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking magazine), developed by Suzie Middleton, is bursting with fresh garden flavors. She successfully pairs tomatoes with another summer favorite - Peaches! the sweet and tart fruits go great together, and the sweet onions, along with cilantro, orange juice and mint, give it a perfect balance in flavor. I decided to throw in another salad winner - some shaved feta cheese which gave it a succinct flavor boost that we thoroughly enjoyed. try it for yourself and see, if nothing, it will definitely inspire you to start a fresh vegetable garden at home, just so you can enjoy fresh organic produce right in your backyard!
Summer Salad with Tomatoes & Peach
2 lb. heirloom tomatoes (a mix of sizes—including cherries—and colors is nice)
1 lb. ripe peaches
1/2 small red onion
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. orange juice or mango smoothie drink, and more if needed
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, and more if needed
1 tsp. soy sauce, and more if needed
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, and more if needed
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro and mint leaves
1/2 cup feta cheese - shaved or crumbled, for garnish
Core the large tomatoes and stem any cherry or tiny tomatoes. Cut the larger tomatoes into large, evenly sized pieces. To do this easily, first cut the tomatoes crosswise into thick slabs, and then cut the slabs into large dice (3/4 to 1 inch wide). If the tomatoes are very irregularly shaped, just cut them into wedges and then cut the wedges in half. Cut the cherry or tiny tomatoes in half or into quarters. Put all of the tomatoes into a large shallow serving bowl.
Peel the peaches with a paring knife and slice them off the pit into wedges (whatever size you like, depending on the size of your peach). Add the peaches to the bowl. Slice the onion lengthwise as thinly as you can and add it to the bowl, too.
Whisk together the olive oil, 2 Tbs. orange juice, 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. soy sauce, lemon zest, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and peaches. Add half of the herbs, season with salt, and toss gently but thoroughly. Taste the juices and add more vinegar, soy sauce, and orange juice if you need to.
Before serving, toss again and sprinkle with remaining herbs and the crumbled feta cheese.
This is a great salad to enjoy on a bright summer day, remember to use fresh ingredients for the best flavor. I think a bit of Avocado would also go great with the recipe, so I'll try that next time. And maybe throw in a handful of walnuts or almonds for extra nutrition and crunch? What are some of your favorite Summer Salads?
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