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Tomato salad with feta and sumac dressing

Updated: May 12

A salad should be fresh, with vegetables picked right before making it or the same day. The other ingredients highlight this freshness. Here is a simple salad that is perfect for summer weather.

The bowl is dominated by fresh leaves and a mix of red and green lettuce. These are accentuated with summer-sweet-coloured cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes. The salad is topped with creamy feta that adds salt and creaminess. The dressing, tart from the sumac and aromatic with the other herbs, brings the salad together with a burst of flavour. This salad is light, fresh, and anything but boring.

The garden at the Great Dixter House has carved a name for itself for decades. This cookbook comes from notes and recipes from the well-renowned Christopher Lloyd, including old classics like this dish and newer recipes. The book is about the beautiful and well-tended kitchen garden, fabulous produce, and healthy recipes. Penned by Great Dixter’s vegetable gardener and cook, Aaron Bertelsen, The Great Dixter Cookbook continues to nurture Lloyd’s inspiring philosophy (‘garden and kitchen, gardener and cook’) through a collection of tasty recipes

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


For the dressing:

100 ml water

1 1/2 tablespoon sumac powder

200 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 teaspoon castor or regular sugar

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

1 clove garlic, minced finely

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the salad:

1 head of red or green lettuce or a mix

2 shallots, thinly sliced

2 tomatoes, chunked or sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, red and yellow, sliced longitudinally

4 oz creamy feta, crumbled

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Make the dressing by heating the water and adding the sumac. Allow to soak for 30 minutes. You can now either stain the water or use it with the sumac. Add all the other ingredients for the dressing and mix well. Allow the dressing to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

To serve the salad, toss the cherry tomatoes with the shallots, salt and pepper. Arrange the lettuce leaves on the bottom of a bowl. Top with the sliced tomatoes in a circle. Top with the cherry tomato mix. Scatter the feta over the salad.

Drizzle the dressing at the table.

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