Tomato & Goat's Cheese Salad

WHEN I saw this recipe in the July 2012 edition of Country Style, my eyes lit up with excitement and I let out a dreamy sigh. Tomato and goat's cheese are two of my absolute favourite ingredients and while I couldn't wait to try this recipe out I couldn't help but wonder how I didn't think of it myself! I love simple recipes like this where the fresh food we are lucky enough to have can be showcased and enhanced. It makes me so excited to bring you such wonderfully simple, flavoursome dishes.

This recipe (originally by Country Style Country Chef of the Year Awards nominee, Matt Fegan,) has been adapted a little to my taste, for instance, I opted for basil instead of mint and added some caster sugar to balance out the zingy lemon. I also knew I'd need some freshly toasted bread to soak up all of those beautiful juices which would otherwise drip right off the tomatoes and be forgotten about. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did.

What you'll need:
4 big, fresh tomatoes, sliced (homegrown is best)
1/2 red onion, diced finely
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped well 
70g goat's feta
1/3 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best)
1 lemon, halved
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Sea salt flakes
Ground black pepper

1 loaf crusty bread, sliced
Extra olive oil

What to do:
Preheat the grill to 180C. Line a baking tray and pop the bread slices on. Drizzle each slice with the extra olive oil and spread it out if needed. Grill for 5 minutes or until golden and crispy. While this is toasting, measure, slice and dice all the ingredients. Grab a nice dinner plate or something similar in size. Once the bread has toasted, remove it from the oven and place it on a serving plate or in a bowl.

Now, arrange the first layer of tomatoes around the plate and pop one in the middle. Arrange the second layer on top, covering any gaps. Arrange the third layer on top of that to cover any gaps again. 

Sprinkle over the onion and basil. Squeeze one half of the lemon over top, catching any seeds that pop out. Sprinkle on the caster sugar and sea salt. Crumble the goat's feta over top and give it a good helping of freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil as you want.

Cut the remaining lemon half into wedges and serve with any remaining olive oil. Enjoy!