Who can resist summer tomatoes? In this vividly coloured Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe, they are the star! Paired with our decadent creamy whipped feta that is the perfect foil to their sweetness. Quick, easy and just perfect for weekday meals.
About this Salad & Serving Ideas
Another salad that you can serve with just about anything. I first made this salad for a girly lunch with zucchini and caramelised onion tart. The girls just loved it and were dipping their fresh bread into the leftover tomato and oil juices and smearing the whipped feta on top!
I have also made it with an heirloom tomato medley and smoked some of the tomatoes as part of a summer Christmas lunch with our roast turkey, and ham. Everyone skipped the cranberry sauce and dove straight for the whipped feta – we’re Greeks so no surprise there.
It has also been enjoyed at countless family barbecues and dinners as it goes with just about anything. Apart from grilled and roasted meats, this heirloom tomato salad would also be great served with pasta or with Dukkah crusted schnitzel.
- Choose top quality ingredients for this summer tomato salad as there are only a few here.
- If you have time salt the tomatoes with some sea salt, and let stand for 10 minutes or so to enhance their flavour then discard the tomato water.
- Make a double batch of the whipped feta it is just so moreish that I always struggle to have enough left for the salad!
What is so special about heirloom tomatoes?
You are in tomato nirvana when you bite into an heirloom tomato variety, they are juicy, sweet, aromatic and just full of exceptional tomatoey flavour.
Heirloom tomatoes are notorious for their interesting colours that can range from bright tomato red, white to black, and yellow or pink-striped to variegated.
The only drawback is that they are thin-skinned and fragile which means that they can easily be damaged and spoil quickly. So it makes sense to use them soon after buying, but trust me that will not be a problem, they are just so yummy.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Heirloom Tomatoes - this is a simple tomato salad so it is essential that you choose your tomatoes wisely! Ideally any heirloom varieties but as a close second try aromatic truss or beefsteak tomatoes. HINT - if you can't smell that wonderful tomatoey aroma give them a miss.
- Basil - tomato and basil are just perfect together and that is why they are such a classic pairing. You can try some mint here or fresh oregano if you don't have any to hand.
- Olive Oil - it is important to go for a good quality olive oil, opt for a "virgin" or "extra virgin" variety as the oil has been extracted mechanically not chemically.
- Whipped Feta - creamy, salty, tangy and just so scrumptious you are going to be making this A LOT it is just incredible.
You Will Need
How to Make It (step-by-step)
Gently wash your heirloom tomatoes, shake to remove the excess water, cut off the tops, bottoms and white core and cut into wedges. Transfer to a bowl and season with some sea salt, to allow them to release their flavours.
Pick the small leaves from your basil stems and cut the large leaves into chiffonade style.
2MAKE WHIPPED FETA
First place the crumbled feta in a food processor and pulse until smooth, add the chopped basil leaves, the cream cheese and olive oil and pulse until smooth and creamy.
Smear the whipped feta on one side of a salad platter, pile the tomato wedges on the other side.
Drizzle over the olive oil and scatter the basil leaves on top.
Keep chilled in your fridge until you are ready to serve (up to 1 hour).
Common Questions (FAQs)
You can make the whipped feta 2-3 days in advance and store covered in your fridge, make sure you take it out 1-2 hours ahead so that it comes to room temperature before assembling your salad as it hardens in the fridge.
This salad can be made an hour in advance just make sure that your basil leaves are dry so that they don’t turn brown.
Pop it in an air-tight container and it should keep for 2-3 days. Nothing beats ice-cold tomatoes on a hot summer day!
You can always blitz the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and freeze them
Heirloom salad can be eaten by Gluten-Free; Keto; Low Carb; Nut-Free and Vegetarian dieters.
Add some sliced fresh chilli to your tomatoes and add some diced red chilli or chilli flakes to the whipped feta. I will leave it up to you how HOT you are going to go.
What else can I do with my whipped feta?
- Try it as a dip for crudités and pita chips.
- As part of a mezze platter.
- Great as a spread for wraps and sandwiches.
- Wonderful as a stuffing for chicken fillets.
- Smear it on the bottom of a plate as a base for lamb cutlets with a fresh tomato and herb salsa on top.
- Great on toasted sourdough with avocado slices as a snack (sprinkle some Dukkah on top and you will be in heaven).
Heirloom Salad with a Tomato Medley Instead
This is the version made for Christmas Lunch 2018 with Ox-heart tomatoes, kumata (Russian black tomatoes) and yellow mini Roma tomatoes (I had blanched and smoked the yellow Romas). I also used two different types of fresh basil from our garden both Greek and sweet basil.
- Small Food Processor or Bullet / High Speed Blender
- 6 medium heirloom tomatoes (I used very ripe ox-heart tomatoes - approximately 850 grams/30 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (good quality)
- ¼ cup small basil leaves or micro basil
- Sea salt
- 1 ½ cups feta (crumbled) (approximately 230 grams/8.10 ounces)
- ⅓ cup cream cheese (approximately 80 grams/2.8 ounces)
- ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Gently wash your ox-heart tomatoes, shake to remove the excess water, cut off the tops and bottoms then slice into wedges. Transfer to a bowl and season with some sea salt, to allow them to release their flavours.
- Place the crumbled feta in a small food processor and pulse until smooth, add the chopped basil leaves, cream cheese and olive oil and pulse until smooth.
- Smear the whipped feta on one side of a salad platter, pile the tomato wedges on one side, then drizzle over the olive oil and then scatter with the basil leaves. Serve immediately.