Tomato, Cherry and Goat Cheese Salad

by Rebekahcooked up on July 12, 2016

Tomato season is the best season. It’s not up for discussion. Unless you’d like to discuss how tomato season is also peach season and cherry season – which is pretty fabulous, I agree! Good talk.

Every year I count down the days to eating fresh tomatoes. My garden tomatoes are always in later in July, but a few weeks before I will start buying them at grocery stores and farmers markets. First the cherry tomatoes, then finally the heirlooms. And I’ll get buy on eating other people’s tomatoes until the day when I can finally pluck one of my own off the vine.

Tomato Cherry Salad with Goat Cheese | PDXfoodlove

Incidentally, that day is only a couple of days away (unless those danged squirrels get hungry again). My very first little sungold is turning its rich orange color. I still remember popping the first one in my mouth from last year… It tasted so sweet and fresh: like happiness. It’s impossible to compare a fresh tomato to anything else.

Tomato Cherry Salad with Goat Cheese | PDXfoodlove
One of my favorite things to do, besides just eat them with salt and olive oil, is to eat them in a fruit salad. It’s unusual, I know. But it’s so delicious. A few dollops of goat cheese and it’s just perfect.

This salad is the best of both worlds – an utterly simple preparation with a few herbs from the garden. I ate it as an afternoon snack but I think it’d be lovely for any meal – alongside scrambled eggs at breakfast, with a green salad or soup for lunch or alongside a beautiful piece of fish or steak for dinner.

Chicken BLT salad with buttermilk Greek yogurt ranch

Ingredients

    For the dressing
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • For the salad
  • 1 head red-leaf lettuce, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/3 lb bacon
  • 3 slices hearty, rustic bread sliced into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

Instructions

    Assemble the dressing
  1. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, buttermilk, salt, chives, dill, garlic and onion powder. Add pepper to taste.
  2. Make the salad
  3. Liberally salt and pepper the chicken breast. In a small skillet over medium heat, sear the chicken breast in a small bit of oil, 1 tsp. Sear two minutes per side.
  4. Remove from the heat, wrap in foil, and set into a 375 degree oven until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170 degrees.
  5. In the skillet, slice the bacon into small pieces (1/2" or smaller) render the bacon over medium-low heat until the fat renders out and the bacon crisps up. Remove the bacon, reserving the fat.
  6. Toss the bread cubes into the reserved oil to coat, and cook over medium heat until crispy.
  7. Assemble the salad: start with the lettuce, and add the tomatoes, bacon, and croutons. Top with the sliced chicken breast and avocado. Add dressing to taste.
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