In this vividly coloured heirloom tomato salad, the tomatoes are truly the star, the creamy salty whipped feta is a perfect foil to the sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes. A quick yet tasty salad to enjoy with weekday meals.
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.
What is different about heirloom tomatoes?
Heirloom seeds came about approximately 25 years ago when growers began to save open-pollinated seeds these are now being used to produce an extensive array of tomatoes.
Heirloom tomatoes are notorious for their interesting colours that range from white to black, and yellow or pink-striped to variegated.
But it is the taste and aroma of these tomatoes that makes them truly exceptional – juicy, sweet and just full of extraordinary tomatoey flavour.
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.
How to make this HEIRLOOM TOMATO salad
1Cut your heirloom tomatoes & basil
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.
2Make your 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.
3Assemble your salad
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).
Some make-ahead and storage tips for your heirloom tomato salad
- You can make the whipped feta 2-3 days in advance and store covered in your fridge, just make sure you take it out 1-2 hours ahead so that it comes to room temperature just 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.
- Any leftovers (it never happens!) are good the next day in the fridge. I just love it with tinned tuna or salmon the next day for lunch.
- You can always blitz the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and freeze to add to your next tomato-based sauce.
What else can I do with 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).
Try some more of our tomato recipes:
- Small Food Processor or Bullet / High Speed Blender
For the salad…
- 6 heirloom tomatoes (I used very ripe ox-heart tomatoes – approximately 850 grams)
- 4 tbsps olive oil (good quality)
- ¼ cup small basil leaves or micro basil
- Sea salt
For the whipped feta…
- 1 ½ cups feta (crumbled) (approximately 230 grams)
- ⅓ cup cream cheese (approximately 80 grams)
- 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.