Summer Tomato Salad

With Baby Spinach and Fresh Aromatics.

Tomatoes, basil, parsley, and perennial thyme are the sweethearts of many backyard gardens in Michigan. Herbs — also called aromatics — impart distinct flavors and intoxicating aromas to food. In a salad, when eaten fresh, herbal flavors are more pronounced. And, when snipped from a “kitchen garden,” they go from the yard to the table with just a quick rinse. A simple drizzle of olive oil is all that’s needed for this summer salad.

  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1    cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1    cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1    teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 12  small Campari tomatoes or other small ripe tomatoes (about 1-½ to 2 pounds)
  •  8   ounces Bulgarian or other feta cheese, cubed
  •  ¼  cup slivered red or sweet onion
  •  Fresh finely ground sea salt
  •  Fresh-ground pepper to taste
  •  Extra-virgin olive oil
  •  8   small sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish

Arrange the baby spinach on one side of a serving dish. Place parsley leaves near, but not over, the spinach and the basil leaves near the parsley. Quarter the tomatoes and arrange near the greens. Top with the onion and feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil. Present as is, or toss just before serving. Garnish with thyme sprigs. Makes 8 servings.