Tomato Salad With Lavender Dressing
- 1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (white balsamic vinegar for this recipe)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped lavender leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped lavender flowers
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons honey
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 handfuls arugula, heavy stems removed (we prefer baby arugula purchased at the farmers' market as there are no thick stems to remove)
- 5 assorted medium heirloom tomatoes (I used different varieties of heirloom toms including 'chocolate cherry')
- 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 -6 dried dates, pitted and diced
- lavender, bloom (optional)
- Slice the tomatoes in rounds over a small bowl to collect any liquid. Place the tomatoes in a separate bowl and let them sit for 30 minutes.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the tomato liquid, olive oil, both vinegars, garlic, lavender leaves and blooms and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. *Be careful* how much salt you add. There is plenty of it in the feta cheese.
- Divide the arugula equally among four chilled salad plates.
- Place the tomato rounds atop the arugula. Sprinkle with the feta and top with the dates.
- Cover and chill until ready to eat or serve immediately.
- Just before serving, if desired garnish each serving with a small snip of a lavender bloom.
- Serve vinaigrette on the side.
- Note: The forty minutes prep time includes allowing the tomatoes to sit for 30 minutes as directed in Step #1.