Written by Julie Magnussen
June not only signifies the beginning of summer but also the beginning of tomato season! We’re absolutely in love with heirloom varieties as they are juicier, tastier, and much more aesthetically pleasing than their modern, conventional counterparts. We partnered with one of our favorite chefs, Rocio Graves of Let It Be Cosy, to create a delicious salad to highlight the incredible taste and beauty of these beloved plants.
Heirloom tomatoes are incredibly special because their seeds have been passed down from generation to generation - i.e. no genetic modifications. They’re bred for their flavor rather than shelf-life and each variety offers a slightly different taste profile. Red heirlooms are tart and sharp, greens have a light, zesty bite, darker varieties develop a savory quality, and yellow heirlooms offer a mild taste which is a perfect complement to some of the more flavorful options. Because they offer such a variety of flavor, you can easily pair them together to create a dish that inspires and delights even the most discerning palate!
When working with simple ingredients, every item shines. Therefore, you want to ask yourself what flavor/texture profile each component brings to the table and how that component enhances the qualities of the other ingredients to elevate the entire dish. Because tomatoes take on an acidic taste with a soft texture, we love pairing them with tangy plant-based feta and crunchy greens to balance out the flavor and textural profiles. Nowadays, you can find practically any “cheese” recreated from various nuts and seeds that are quite exquisite (say goodbye to rubbery, dull imitations). We choose an almond feta for it’s melt-in-your-mouth succulence and tangy bite.
We paired this dish with a delightful greens dressing made with one of of favorite herbs, cilantro. Countless studies have proven this special herb’s ability to fight deeply embedded toxins while also flooding the body with nutrients, particularly vitamins A and C and a myriad of minerals and antioxidants. Cilantro is also proven to have antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. And don’t forget the cilantro stems! The stems have shown to be as much as a nutritional powerhouse as the leaves. If cilantro is not your cup-of-tea, simply substitute with your favorite leafy herb like basil or a spinach/mint mixture.
This delicious Heirloom Tomato & Feta salad is the perfect refreshingly nutritious dish for your next get-together on a warm summer’s evening.
Heirloom Tomato & Feta Salad
2-3 big ripe heirloom tomatoes
3-4 endive leaves, whole or chopped
50g (1/2 cup) crumbled almond feta
a handful or your favorite sprouts
1 small bunch of cilantro (stems included)
100ml (1/3 cup) cold-pressed olive oil
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
cracked black pepper
1 clove garlic (optional)
In a salad bowl, assemble to sliced tomatoes, endives, almond feta, and sprouts. Next, process all the dressing ingredients in a powerful blender until smooth (add a little water if needed for blending). Pour over salad, toss, and enjoy!
Julie Magnussen is a photographer and content creator for health and wellness businesses. She has spent the last 15 years studying and practicing holistic health modalities as a nutritionist for Whole Foods Market, a Plant-Based Private Chef, and the owner of Healthy Julie. Julie now finds herself expressing her passion for everything health through her words and camera lens. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Science in Health Psychology and is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner.