With the end of summer near, I'm not sure if I'll be able to make good on my promise of finishing my bakery map-guide. Boo. I'll likely be busying myself with canning and preserving in the coming days, and I've been talking big about cooking a half bushel of roma tomatoes into sauce. I am over the moon for tomatoes right now. Simple tomato salads piled sky high with fresh herbs are easily my new favourite dinners. Panzanella with lots of basil if I have a good chewy bread to spare. Tabbouleh when I'm in the mood for parsley and mint. But on most nights, a huge village salad with a side of pasta or bread feels just right.
Makes 2 meal-sized or 6 side servings.
If you can find them, use colourful heirloom tomatoes and purple bell peppers to make this salad really pop. If using dried black olives, use only 1/4 cup as they tend to be saltier. I find that the feta and olives lend enough salt to the salad, but if it's not enough, feel free to add salt to taste.
4 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced and halved (or 2 pints of cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 large field cucumber, sliced in quarters lengthwise, deseeded, and cut 1" thick
1 purple bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks
1 small red onion, quartered and sliced thin
1/2 cup pitted and sliced black olives
1/2 cup crumbled or cubed feta cheese
30 large fresh basil leaves, julienned
4 long sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves only
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss the prepared tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and onion pieces into a large bowl. Scatter olives and feta over top, and pile the basil and oregano high in the centre. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice evenly, and finish with a generous sprinkle of black pepper.