Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tomato and Feta Cheese Salad

There are so many good restaurants in New York city.  I like eating out at some of the nicer restaurants on special occasions and enjoy the dishes created by well known chefs.  However, often, the most memorable dishes are found at tiny restaurants that you've never heard of.  a few years ago, my friend took me to one of these hidden gems in Manhattan's Lower East side.  This restaurant, called Mama's had two or three tables, and most of their business was take-out (or take-away as it's known in Europe.  The place offers huge platters with low prices and is especially known for their fried chicken.  The fried chicken was good, but it was the side dish, the tomato and feta cheese salad, that was absolutely fascinating.  The combination of ripe tomatoes, salty feta, slightly sweet pine nuts, pungent onions, garlic and fresh herbs.... Need I say more?  I went back to my kitchen and worked out the recipe for that salad, and here is my take on Mama's tomato feta cheese salad.

Tomato and Feta Cheese Salad Print Recipe

2 TbspPine nuts
3tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 clovegarlic, minced
1/8~1/4red onion, finely minced
3~4 springsthyme, remove the leaves from the sprig*
1/3 cupcrumbled feta cheese
a pinchblack pepper
1~2 Tbspolive oil

  1. Preheat the oven (or the toaster oven) to 400 degrees (I use the toaster oven without preheating.  It works, but here I'm just being proper.)  Roast the pine nuts in the oven (or the toaster oven) for 3 to 4 minutes until they are golden brown (take care because pine nuts burn easily).  Take them out from the oven and set aside.  Alternatively you could toast the pine nuts in a pan over the stove.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomato wedges, pine nuts, garlic, onion, thyme, and feta cheese.
  3. Sprinkle pepper and drizzle olive oil. Toss to combine.

*You can substitute with dill, basil, or any herb you like.


Nobue said...



EMK said...