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This light summer tomato salad is the perfect side dish to any summer meal! Quick, easy to make and a great accompaniment to any chicken, fish or vegetarian dish your heart desires!
OKOKOKOKOKOKOK Summer is *technically* over, but NOT quite so don’t give up on the tomatoes just yet!
With summer leaving, I’m getting my final couple of tomato-y recipes out of the way to make room for all that yummy fall goodness.
Summer is wonderful in California and there are a couple things I always look forward to. Obviously they revolve around food: tomatoes, corn and peaches. In that order. A couple years ago when we bought a house, we started to grow tomatoes and they have been wonderful. I harvest them and create so many wonderful and bright recipes like heirloom pesto pizza and this tomato salad. Now a lot of tomato salads vary, but this was created specifically to be a side dish or a versatile “topper”. This goes amazingly well on top of fish, grilled chicken or on top of cheese for a light summer appetizer. I also use this in place of bruschetta as the topping.
Really you could use any type of tomato in this but I think it’s made best with a mixture of cherry tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes. For one, the color mixture will be outstanding, and another it provides an amazing balance of textures and flavors from the different types you use.
When I make this, I’ll usually use it alongside light chicken dishes so I can combine the chicken and tomatoes into each bite.
A few notes:
- Use fresh basil, don’t use dried, basil is a HUGE part of the flavor profile here
- Roasted garlic is an AMAZING addition here. If you can, roast a head of garlic and use whole roasted cloves in place of the minced garlic.
- Mince the shallots into a decently fine dice. Nothing will ruin this salad more than a shallot or onion overpowering the tomato flavor.
- Lastly, use an aged balsamic vinegar or use a balsamic glaze, not an everyday balsamic. An everyday balsamic will likely make this too acidic if using the amount in my recipe.
This salad is really best with fresh, flavorful summer tomatoes. I try to eat seasonally whenever possible, especially with summer produce because I the flavor is just never the same out of season.
Wine pairing: pair a nice Rosé with this salad. Rosé is surprisingly affordable and has the right body and acidity to bring out the best flavor in both the wine and the tomatoes. Talking specifically about a dry rosé, not anything sweetened in any way.
Now, I’m going to go back to watching Friends on re-run. Why is Netflix taking away my happiness here??? This has nothing to do with my post but really, it needs further discussion.
Summer Tomato Salad
A light, bright salad with fresh tomatoes and herbs. Versatile to use for both a salad or for a protein topping.
- 2 heirloom tomatoes
- 10 oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 shallot
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10-15 leaves basil
- 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar optional
- pinch crushed red pepper optional
Slice heirloom tomatoes, and half the cherry tomatoes. Dice the shallot and cut basil into fine pieces.
Assemble the tomatoes and shallots in a bowl or large plate. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar (if using), and sprinkle basil, salt, pepper, parsley, and crushed red pepper over the top (evenly coating as much as you can).
Give the salad a quick toss and serve. This will last up to an hour before the heirloom tomatoes will start to soften. Enjoy!
I use an aged balsamic here. It has a much sweeter flavor and is more syrupy than everyday balsamic vinegar. If using balsamic vinegar, use aged or use a glaze, otherwise this salad will likely be too acidic.