Sun dried tomatoes salad is a healthy, vegetarian salad. Super simple, flavorful and hearty meal for true sun dried tomatoes lovers.
Ripe tomatoes are recommended for the basis of this recipe in order to be able to enjoy a succulent yet fruitful flavour when they are sun dried. Usually, salt is used to hydrate the tomatoes so that the quality can be maintained. Preference would be to use a cherry type of tomato over a larger type of tomato which can lose a more substantial amount of water. The process should be to maintain as much flavour as possible for this particular recipe. For a traditional recipe, usually red plum tomatoes are used for enhanced flavour.
Historically, the Aztecs and Incas cultivated the tomatoes by using the drying out process by salting and drying them so that they could be preserved. It is believed that the name ‘tomato’ was created by the name ‘tomatl’ which was created by the Aztec people.
Tomatoes have been used in a variety of ways such as the use in salads, soups, ketchup and as a basis for pizzas, bolognaises and sauces. Specifically, sun-dried tomatoes can be enjoyed in a variety of forms although it is suggested that it is primarily for salads and meze.
There are different types of feta cheese that can be purchased. The Greek alternative forms more depth of flavour and less watery in comparison to home brands. Often preserved in brine or oil, it is a white, chalky and dense cheese which is usually formed from sheep’s milk or from a mix of sheep and goat’s milk together.
There are so many varieties of olives to choose from nowadays, whether they are green, black or multi-faceted; stuffed with garlic, jalapenos or feta cheese or in their more simplistic form. They are delightful to eat and they have a palatable texture to the tongue.
Spanish olives in particular are rich in a sweet flavour as the more common use is to have pimientos stuffed into each olive which offers a richer flavour and reduces the saltiness of the olives. ‘Pimiento’ comes from the ‘bell pepper’ which is a common use for produced olives.
The choice of lettuce is personal although a crunchy yet firm iceberg lettuce will suffice. The abstract lettuce can be more textural for this dish to create a balanced use of ingredients.
Standard olive oil can be used but again there are many varieties of olive oils that can be used. The extra virgin olive oil offers a lighter and healthier alternative to some of the denser and gloopier olive oils. Selected olive oils are available with a variety of additions such as infused garlic and chilli.
These strong flavours may distract from the dish in hand as the essence of the other flavours are diminished altogether. A more classic recipe is preferred with the simplest yet freshest options.
Lastly, fresh lemon juice is preferable over the use of bottled and acidic juice which can be too tantalizing to the tongue and too strong.
These ingredients together can unite as one sublime and healthy combination with the right selection of the individual items to create an infusion of flavours which are fresh and wholesome.