Food Column ATK Tomato Salad with Feta and Cumin Yogurt Dressing

This undated photo provided by America's Test Kitchen in June 2019 shows a Tomato Salad with Feta and Cumin-Yogurt Dressing in Brookline, Mass. This recipe appears in "The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook." (Daniel J. van Ackere/America's Test Kitchen via AP)

Fresh, juicy summer tomatoes make a great salad, so we set out to create one with complementary flavors and a creamy dressing.

Tomatoes exude lots of liquid when cut, which can quickly turn a salad into soup. To get rid of some of the tomato juice without losing all the valuable flavor, we looked to a method that had proven successful in our other tomato salad recipes: salting the tomatoes before making the salad.

Simply cutting the tomatoes into wedges, tossing them with salt, and letting them sit for 15 minutes provided enough time for the juice to drain. This also seasoned the tomatoes and their juice at the same time. We reserved a measured amount of the flavorful juice to add to the dressing without watering down the salad.

Greek yogurt laid the foundation for a creamy, spice-infused dressing, and we boosted its tang with lemon juice and the reserved tomato juice. To that we added fresh oregano, cumin, and garlic, but some tasters found the cumin and garlic too harsh.

A quick zap in the microwave was all it took to effectively bloom the spice and cook the garlic, successfully mellowing their flavors. We tossed the tomatoes with the dressing, finishing with just the right amount of briny feta to add richness and another layer of flavor.

Both regular and low-fat Greek yogurt will work well here; do not use nonfat yogurt. The success of this recipe depends on ripe, in-season tomatoes.

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mhastings@wsjournal.com

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