22nd Aug 2018
Tomatoes really come into their own towards the end of summer when they’ve soaked up all the sun’s rays. Their sweet flesh goes so well with the baked salty feta and basil. It’s guaranteed to keep those end-of-summer blues at bay for a little bit longer.
End of Summer Tomato Salad with Roasted Feta & Pine Nuts
small handful of fresh oregano leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chilli flakes (crushed chilli)
2 x 200g packets of feta
400g mixed tomatoes, cut into rounds
1 echalion (banana) shallot, cut into very thin rings
180g mixed olives, pitted
small handful of basil leaves
40g pine nuts, toasted
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and take a large sheet of baking parchment and lay it on your kitchen counter. Put half the oregano, olive oil, lemon zest and chilli flakes in the middle of the paper – roughly the size of the two blocks of feta. Stir it altogether and lay the feta on top next to each other. Add the rest of the oregano, oil, lemon zest and chilli flakes on top and then carefully lift up the top and bottom edges of the paper. Bring them together up in the air above the feta and start to fold them down in small folds, over and over, until you nearly reach the feta. Then, fold the two open ends underneath the feta so you have a closed parcel. Slide it onto a baking sheet and pop it in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, arrange the rocket on a serving platter, then layer up the rounds of tomato and shallot rings. Sprinkle over the olives, basil leaves and pine nuts.
Remove the feta from the oven and crumble one block over the platter and leave the other whole to make a centrepiece statement. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and top with a twist of black pepper.
Extracted from Big Salads by Kat Mead (Quadrille, approx €19). Photography © Catherine Frawley.
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