There are many benefits to being a vendor in a farmer’s market. You can people watch, buy some awesome Toot Sweet Caramels (shameless plug inserted here) and be among some of the freshest, tastiest produce and food made available by local farmers and artisans.
It was at the Orange, CA farmer’s market where I collected many of the ingredients for this fantabulous heirloom tomato salad with goat feta, after I finished peddling artisan caramel. It’s simple, and it proves that great ingredients can hold their own without any heavy dressings, sauces or even lots of seasoning. Heirloom tomatoes are abundant right now and it’s so cool to use these weird shaped and colorful fruits. No longer is a tomato slice just for slapping on a burger, which I hate – they can be a full meal. What you see on this plate is what I had for dinner and I liked it so much I wiped the plate clean with a piece of sourdough bread! Of course, the tomatoes had some help from the raw goat feta cheese from Redwood Hill Farm in Northern California. Not as salty as regular Greek feta but still the perfect amount of bite to bring out the flavor of the heirlooms. Usually feta is made from a blend of sheep and goat milk, but Redwood Hill uses only goat’s milk – after all, that’s what they’re famous for. They make everything from milk and artisan cheeses to kefir and yogurts. I was also lucky enough to end my selling/shopping day at the market with a sample of fresh olive oil from Nuvo Olive Oil. A drizzle of this green gold, a sprinkle of sea salt and some fresh basil leaves completed the dish.
My PSA for this weekend: keep things simple and taste every ingredient.
Heirloom and Goat Feta Salad
- 4 in or 5 ripe heirloom tomatoes varied color and shape
- 8 ounces raw goat feta cheese
- Sea salt
- 8 sprigs fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Slice the tomatoes and lay them on a large plate, overlapping if necessary.
- Sprinkle with some sea salt.
- Drizzle lightly with the olive oil and let rest for five minutes.
- Crumble the goat cheese with your fingers and drop over the tomatoes.
- Tear some basil leaves and sprinkle on top of the final plates.