Tomato, feta & pine nut salad with herb vinaigrette & sumac pickled onions

Pickled onions are something I make most weeks to add to salads, curries, soups and stews, and the addition of sumac is a seriously delicious upgrade. They pair beautifully with this seasonal salad of tomatoes, a wonderfully zingy fresh herb vinaigrette and creamy feta. This is my idea of a perfect summer lunch.

serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side


For the sumac onions:

250ml Aspall Organic Cyder Vinegar
150ml boiling water
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sumac
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced

For the herb vinaigrette: 

1 Echalion or banana shallot, peeled and roughly chopped (or ½ red onion, peeled and chopped)
1 large handful fresh basil, leaves only
1 handful fresh parsley, leaves only
4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves only (or use ½ tsp dried oregano or a little extra fresh basil if you can’t find fresh oregano)
1 clove garlic, peeled
100ml extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Aspall Organic Cyder Vinegar
1½ tsp salt

 For the salad:

500g tomatoes (room temperature), ideally a mix of colours and shapes (even better if you can find heirloom varieties), cut into wedges
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted for a few minutes in a dry pan.
100g feta, optional
extra fresh basil & parsley to garnish, optional


For the sumac onion:

Mix the vinegar, honey and boiling water together in a jug until the honey has dissolved, then stir in the salt and sumac.

Put the onions into a sterilised jar with a lid (run the jar and lid through a hot dishwasher cycle first), then pour over the pickling juice, ensuring the onions are completely covered. Screw on the lid and leave at room temperature for 6 hours to infuse, then refrigerate until needed. They will keep for about a week in the fridge.

For the salad and herb vinaigrette:

Put the chopped tomatoes into a bowl and season well with salt and pepper and leave to macerate while you make the dressing.

For the herb vinaigrette, blitz all the ingredients in a blender until smooth, keeping a few leaves of the herbs back to garnish at the end.

When you are ready to assemble the salad, spoon some of the dressing onto a serving plate then top with the tomatoes. Add the crumbled feta if using. Then sprinkle the toasted pine nuts and spoon some sumac onions over the top. Serve the remaining herb vinaigrette on the side.

Sumac is a beautiful deep purple-red coloured spice made from dried and ground berries, and tastes very citrusy. It is now, thankfully, widely available in supermarkets or from online stores, and pairs brilliantly with vegetables, fish, chicken and pulses of all sorts.

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This recipe has kindly been sponsored by Aspall Cyder and Vinegar


Organic Cyder Vinegar | Aspall


Serving Platter | Bordallo Pinheiro


Servers | Nordic Nest


Sumac | Tesco


Sea Salt | Maldon


Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Colonna


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