This is a recipe that Lorin Fahrmeier of Fahrmeier Farms shared with us last year. It's a great twist on a cool, refreshing salad. Local strawberries can be found in the everbearing variety or from a high tunnel. Tomatoes and watermelon are in season and are plentiful at Missouri farmers' markets or possibly from your own back yard. With balsamic vinegar and feta cheese, this salad will would be great to serve at a dinner party or picnic with your family. It's a great way to use three local fruits, a culinary herb and even some local goat cheese.
2 beefsteak (or other large variety) tomatoes, stemmed, washed and dried. (I like to use colorful heirloom varieties or yellow tomatoes to add a pop of color and keep the tomatoes at room temperature to ensure the best flavor)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed, washed and dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves (lemon basil is also a good substitute)
1 pint local strawberries, hulled, washed and cut into very small pieces
2 cups cold watermelon, rind removed, seeded and cut into bite-size cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons superfine (or granulated) sugar
1 small container feta cheese
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (Use a good quality balsamic. I’ve also used a strawberry balsamic before.)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a bowl, whisk together the balsamic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.
Place the tomatoes on a flat surface. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and the larger ones into slices. Arrange all of them in a single layer, flesh side up on a serving platter. Season them with salt, black pepper and sugar. Next arrange the strawberries over the top of the tomatoes. Add watermelon cubes as the top layer. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Finally, sprinkle the tarragon and feta over the top to finish the salad. Serve Immediately.
Photo courtesy of Jenny Steffens Hobick Everyday Occasions Blog