Dinners at our house are super boring for the past three weeks. Tomatoes have been peak, and with little rain, the fruits are rich, and lush, and flavorful. After a trip to Greece a couple of years ago—which would have been utterly worthwhile if the only thing that happened was that I learned to make Greek salads—I made the mistake of making a Greek salad as I learned on my trip. Now, during tomato season, Ty is disappointed by any other side dish. (Not that this is only a side dish; we had a Greek salad by itself for supper twice in the past week.) He gets twitchy if we start running low on feta, or olive oil. We both vigilantly eye the supply of tomatoes ripening on the sideboard, eager to be certain that there will be one that becomes perfectly ripe each and every day. In the same way that college football fans talk about “clock management,” I am obsessed with tomato management, worried that the tomatoes I selected at the market on Saturday or Wednesday might not ripen in daily succession, one after the other, ready for a trip to the salad bowl.
I was never really a yellow tomato girl, but I think the farmers are learning more about which varieties are most tasty with each passing year. The salad I photographed for this post had a yellow-to-red ombre tomato in it, and it was gorgeous and delicious. It’s an extraordinary year for flavor in our Connecticut cucumbers and bell peppers as well. The vegetables are all crispy and toothsome. Even though I posted this Greek panzanella recipe last summer, I think I skipped right over the main attraction. I hope you’re not offended by the simplicity of this recipe. Enjoy the rest of tomato season and try to squeeze in a few of these salads.
For every two adults:
- 1 large, ripe tomato, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 large, green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and cut into chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- fleur de sel or kosher salt
- 3 to 4 grinds of fresh black pepper
- 3 to 4 thin slices of feta
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of fruity extra-virgin olive oil
1. Combine tomato, bell pepper, red onion, and cucumber in a salad bowl. Rub dried oregano between your hands into the bowl. Sprinkle with a few pinches of fleur de sel (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to combine. You can let the salad sit at this point for 15 minutes or so while you prepare the rest of the meal.
2. Just before serving, add feta to salad and drizzle with olive oil. Gently toss to combine ingredients.