- Food: Tomato Salad
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-type: Food Blog
This summer, we have an abundance of tomatoes, which is fantastic. To make use of the leftovers, I devised this simple tomato salad dish.
I simply chopped ripe tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, added some crisp red onion, and heaps of fresh basil, then drizzled everything with olive oil and nice balsamic vinegar.
The ultimate result is very delectable! The raw, peak-season tomatoes truly shine in this salad. You’ll never get tired of this dish because it’s so flexible.
Cucumber, mozzarella, avocado, arugula, or even peaches can be added to the mix.
Serve this fresh, healthful tomato salad as a side dish to any summer meal. It tastes best when it’s newly made, so if you’re not serving a large group, I recommend halving the recipe.
This spring, I grew heirloom tomatoes from seed for the first time.
It was a delightful procedure that turned out to be easier than anticipated. In fact, I underestimated the number of seeds that would germinate.
I grew so many tomato plants that we filled three garden plots for our family and gave the rest to friends.
Surprisingly, despite a stressful year, our flourishing tomato plants have brought a sense of stability and promise.
Next spring, I’ll do it all over again, but this time with more peppers and cucumbers. Or perhaps I require a larger garden plot. I believe I’ve become addicted!
Ingredients for Tomato Salad
- To make a nice tomato salad, you’ll need ripe tomatoes. To put it another way, don’t create tomato salad using bad tomatoes. It simply isn’t worth it.
- I like to combine cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half, with small-to-medium tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized wedges for this salad. However, as long as the tomatoes are good, you can use any mix. In total, you’ll need around 1 3/4 pounds.
- Because raw onion has a strong flavor, we’ll soak it in ice-cold water while we prepare the rest of the ingredients. The crispier your onions become, the colder the water. Soaking the onion improves the overall flavor and texture of your salad with a simple and quick approach.
- It’s impossible to go wrong with fresh tomatoes and bail at any time. If basil isn’t available, substitute parsley, dill, or chives in this salad.
Thick Balsamic Vinegar with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- This is the ideal moment to break out your best olive oil and balsamic vinegar, as their tastes will shine brightly on this salad. California Olive Ranch every day and Trader Joe’s Kalamata are my go-to olive oils if you’re inquisitive.
- I mean a high-quality aged balsamic vinegar that will trickle attractively over the salad when I say “thick” balsamic vinegar. Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve Vinegar (affiliate link) is one of my favorites—look for the bottle that says “25 stars.” Use DeLallo or Alessi balsamic glaze/reduction from the supermarket. You can also make your own balsamic glaze using runny balsamic vinegar; see the recipe notes for more information.
Season with salt and pepper.
- Use Maldon flaky sea salt if feasible (affiliate link). Flaky salt is a “finishing salt” that adds a hint of crisp texture while also enhancing the flavor of whatever it’s placed on top of. It’s a simple method to make a recipe appear gourmet! If you don’t have it, kosher salt will suffice. Use half as much table salt if you don’t have kosher salt.
Finally, always use freshly ground black pepper. Pre-ground pepper has hardly any flavor and isn’t worth the money.
Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers
Easy! In this dish, layer thinly sliced cucumber on top.
Because of their crisp texture and less bitter skin, I like English cucumber or Persian cucumber. Taste a slice of standard garden cucumber first; if the skin is bitter, pull it off before slicing the rest.
This tomato salad recipe can be used in a variety of ways. Add additional mozzarella or ripe avocado for a heartier salad. If you have any arugula on hand, toss in a handful or two. You may also replace part of the tomatoes with ripe peaches. The recipe (below) includes instructions on how to layer these optional ingredients and what quantities to use.
Do you have a strong desire for more tomatoes before the summer is over? You can find a handful of my favorite raw tomato recipes below, or you can browse all tomato recipes here.
- Salad Caprese with Burrata
- Pico de Gallo is a traditional Pico de Gallo.
- Huevos Rancheros FRESH
- Panzanella with layers
- Bruschetta with Tomato Basil and Balsamic Drizzle
- Sandwich with Vegetarian “BLT”
Salad with Tomatoes
|Time to Prepare: 20 minutes
20-minute total time
Salad Yield: 4 servings
Do you have any extra tomatoes? This easy tomato salad recipe is a must-try! It’s delectable, adaptable, and simple to prepare. Ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, marinated red onion, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil are used in this dish.
When using 1 34-pound tomato, the recipe makes 4 to 6 side salads; you can decrease the recipe in half by using either the cherry tomatoes or the pound of regular tomatoes.
- Salad de tomatoes
- 12 cup red onion, diced (about 12 tiny red onions)
- 1 pint (12 oz. or 2 cups) halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 pound extra tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized wedges (about 1 big, 2 medium, or 3 tiny)
- 14 cup finely sliced fresh basil and/or small basil leaves (parsley, dill, and/or chives can be substituted)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze or thick balsamic vinegar
- to taste 12 teaspoons of flaky sea salt or kosher salt
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
Additions that are optional
- 12 English cucumber slices or 1 Persian cucumber slice
- 1 ripped mozzarella ball, 1 cup of small mozzarella balls, or part-skim mozzarella cubes
- 1 avocado, ripe, sliced, or diced
- arugula leaves, baby
- Fill a small bowl halfway with ice water and toss in the chopped red onion (soaking the onion will tame its intense flavor and make it crispier). Set aside while you finish preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Arrange the tomato wedges on a large serving plate to make the salad. Drain the onions thoroughly, then layer approximately a third of them on top. Half of the cherry tomatoes should be added first, followed by a layer of any extra additions, and then a third of the onions. Finish with the remaining cherry tomatoes, then the remaining onions, and a generous sprinkling of basil.
- Drizzle the olive oil, then the balsamic vinegar, over the salad. On top, season with salt and a few twists of black pepper. Serve as soon as possible. This salad is best eaten within a few hours, but leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days if covered.
- ADD ANY OF THE OPTIONAL ADDITIONS TO CHANGE IT UP. Cut any mix of tomatoes into wedges or large slices (you’ll need around 1 34 pounds total). You could also replace part of the tomatoes with ripe sliced peaches.
- BALSAMIC VINEGAR NOTE: Use high-quality, thick balsamic vinegar (I like Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve Vinegar—about it’s $10 at Natural Grocers or other well-stocked grocery stores—make sure you get the bottle with “25 stars” on it) or store-bought balsamic glaze/reduction for a beautiful drizzle (DeLallo and Alessi make them). Alternatively, you can prepare your own balsamic reduction by following the instructions below.
- REDUCTION OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR: In a small, thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 cup (or more) of runny balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vinegar has been reduced by half. Allow cooling before transferring to an airtight container and storing it in the pantry. Everything from pizza to ice cream, Caprese and green salads, and more can benefit from a balsamic reduction.