My friend Yvette was in NYC last week for work and stayed through the weekend with me. Yvette used to live in NYC for a number of years but she's originally from the Bay Area and eventually she made the move back West along with a few of our other girl friends. So I always make a point to visit them in San Francisco at least once a year and in turn I see them in NYC when they come here for business trips. It was steamy hot in the city over the weekend and we hit all of her favorite shops. I made a point to stop by the Green Market in Union Square because I hadn't been in several weeks. It's one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday, explore the market and see what's fresh and inspires me. I love getting corn and there was a sign at my favorite farmer stand saying that their ears were fresh picked that morning. They were $2 for 5 ears, done. Then I spotted little green cartons filled with tomatoes of all shapes, colors and sizes. They were selling for $5 each or 2 for $8 but I was low on cash and had to settle for just one.
So on Sunday while Yvette was packing up her bag, I decided to make her a little snack so that she wouldn't be hungry on the plane ride home. I made an updated tomato salad and instead of the expected tomato, basil and mozzarella that you see everywhere, I thought tomato, mint and feta would be more fun and different.
I like to use Valbreso feta which is from a region in France near the Mediterranean Sea and made with sheep's milk. It's rich and creamy and not salty or tangy like more standard feta cheese. I get it from Whole Foods but I can also find a version from other grocery stores like this one.
I sliced the feta into thin pieces and layered it with the tomatoes and added mint leaves in between. Salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. The balsamic vinegar I use is aged 10 years so it's slightly thicker and sweeter and less bitter. It's more expensive ($20 a bottle) but it's worth it because you use less. I get mine from Sur La Table.
Yvette loved it and I am going to keep it in the rotation for the rest of the summer. I'm going out to East Hampton this weekend and we're having a dinner party on Saturday so this salad may make the menu. I'm excited to cook for a large group of people and can't wait to set up the table outside and have a bountiful supply of bottles of Rose and good food.
I'll post the recipes I make next week. Also, I just added a RSS feed for this blog so please add it to your feed if you haven't signed up for email updates!