Avocado,Tomato & Feta Salad
Recipe: Avocado,Tomato & Feta Salad
Avocado, Tomato & Feta Salad is so easy to put together, delicious and a healthy meal on its own or as a side dish. Feta pairs so well with both avocado and tomato. This is my favourite summer time salad especially when a variety of tomatoes are in season.
What Is Feta?
Feta is a type of Greek cheese that is made from sheep or goat’s milk. It is a brined white cheese. Sometimes it is made from a combination of goat and sheep milk. Authentic feta is usually soft, crumbly. One is usually not able to cut it into perfect cubes the way we can for hard cheese. You will find that Feta is used in many Greek dishes.
Feta is used in salads, starter/appetizer dishes, pasta, pizza, chicken and meat dishes. It usually lands a distinct flavour to the dishes it is used in. Personally, I love them in salads and on my toast. I love to add it as a stuffing to home baked buns. These Feta, Olive & Basil stuffed buns make an excellent accompaniment to a soup.
When in Kenya, I prefer using Feta by Browns. The other cheese companies don’t make the authentic type. Because feta is cured in brine, it tends to be salty. It is also known as ‘pickled cheese’. Nature’s Basket in India tends to stock a good brand of Feta Cheese though not authentic but pretty close to the flavour and texture. It is usually made from cow’s milk and has vegetable rennet. Here in Canada I buy either the Saputo brand or Woolich one as the authentic one is almost triple the price!
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Ingredients Required For Avocado,Tomato & Feta Salad
- Avocado – make sure it is ripe. Add more or less of avocado, all depends on how you want the salad.
- Tomatoes – use baby ones or normal tomatoes. For salads I prefer to use baby tomatoes whenever available. Sometimes I chop roma tomatoes into chunks. It all depends on availability.
- Salad Leaves – there is no hard and fast rule as to which kind of salad greens you can use. Use lettuce, baby spinach, kale, rocket or mixed.
- Feta Cheese – try and source the best quality cheese. There are so many different types available. Feta made from cow, sheep or goat’s milk or a combination of all. Feta made from goat’s milk tends to have a strong flavour.
- Fresh Herbs – use mint or basil, whatever you have. Usually both herbs are readily available during summer.
- Seeds – add lightly roasted seeds of your choice. Seeds add nutritional value and crunch to this salad. I like to use sunflower seeds or sometimes I add pine nuts.
- Salt – add cautiously as feta tends to be salty.
- Pepper – freshly crushed pepper powder adds a lot of flavour. Add according to your taste.
- Olive oil – drizzle over the salad.
Can I Add Other Salad Ingredients?
Yes by all means, add cucumber, onion, bell pepper, carrots, etc. I prefer to keep it simple.
Is There A Substitute For Feta?
While feta tastes salty there are other substitutes which are milder. You may want to substitute feta if you don’t consume animal rennet, don’t like the taste of feta or it is not available in your area.
The good substitutes are:
- Cottage Cheese -is so much less saltier and is usually crumbly in texture.
- Paneer – for those who don’t consume animal rennet. Paneer as such has no flavour. Therefore, you can roast it on a pan with some olive oil and herbs or add a flavourful dressing to the salad.
- Halloumi – is salty.
- Cotija – Mexican white cheese comes closest to Feta though less salty.
- Queso Fresco – another close substitute to Feta.
AVOCADO, TOMATO & FETA SALAD
- 2 small avocados
- 1 cup baby tomatoes or 2-3 roma tomatoes
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled or cubed
- 2 cups salad greens
- 10-12 mint/basil leaves
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds lightly roasted
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Peel the avocados and cut into chunks or thick slices. Add the lemon juice and mix gently.
- Cut the tomato into chunks or thick slices. If using cherry or plum tomatoes cut into half.
- Add the salad leaves, herb leaves and sunflower seeds.
- Toss the salad.
- Add salt, pepper and feta cheese.
- Drizzle olive oil over it and serve.
- Adjust the amount of avocado and tomatoes used according to your preference.
- Replace feta with halloumi, cottage cheese, paneer, cotija, etc.
- Add a dressing of your choice if you want to. Sometimes I add balsamic vinegar dressing.
- Use salad leaves of your choice.
- If you want to serve the salad chilled then don't add salt. Add just before serving.
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