This salad makes a fantastic lunch! The tangy feta is a terrific contrast to the sweet crunchy fennel and juicy tomatoes. Feel free to use whatever herbs you have on hand or add capers, sliced sweet onions, or olives.
2 bulbs fennel
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound large ripe tomatoes, such as T.C. Jones and Eva Purple Ball
4 to 6 ounces sheep’s milk feta cheese
Basil, a few sprigs
Trim off the fennel fronds. Cut off a bit of the bottom end and remove the outer parts if needed. Cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Lay the fennel flat on a cutting board and cut crosswise into very thin slices, or use a mandoline. Place the fennel in a bowl and toss with some of the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt to taste. Arrange on a serving plate. This will soften the fennel and ensure it gets seasoned well before the tomatoes go on top.
Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and arrange them on top of the fennel. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to taste.
Coarsely crumble the feta over the tomatoes and tear the basil over the top. Let stand a few minutes so the juices can flow and then serve.