The most classic of all combinations come together in this juicy Tomato Salad – sweet ripe tomatoes with fresh basil leaves drizzled with a simple vinaigrette. This can be made with any type of fresh tomatoes – including cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes – but they must be ripe!
This is my “go-to” salad that I make whenever I have ripe tomatoes. One that I’ve been making for as long as I can remember.
There’s nothing groundbreaking in it, it’s just a really classic combination of ingredients and flavours.
But the one essential is to use juicy, ripe tomatoes. If you don’t, it kind of defeats the purpose!
What goes in tomato salad
Fresh basil with tomato is a match made in heaven, plus thin slices of red onion for freshness then a simple vinaigrette made with cider vinegar, olive oil and mustard for thickening.
- Tomatoes – use any type of tomatoes you want. I’ve used cherry and grape tomatoes because they’re extra ripe and juicy right now – juicier than the large tomatoes;
- Basil – switch with chives, dill, parsley or oregano
- Dried Herbs – make the Herb & Garlic dressing in this Cucumber Salad instead (it’s SO GOOD with tomatoes!)
- Red onion – finely sliced green onions or eschallots/French onion (ie the small onions, known by many names!).
Dressing for Tomato Salad
When you’ve got sweet juicy tomatoes paired with basil, it’s an unbeatable flavour combination so you really don’t need (or want!) a dressing that overpowers.
So the best is to make a simple vinaigrette, thickened slightly with mustard so it coats the tomato better (because they’re slippery little suckers that dressing just doesn’t want to cling to!).
How to make tomato salad
- Shake up the dressing in a jar – it is the best way to make any dressing beautifully thick and creamy. Much more effective than whisking in a bowl;
- Cut cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes in half to expose the juicy flesh so it can mingle with the dressing. If using large tomatoes, cut them into wedges then into bite size pieces;
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently!
What to serve this with
It will go particularly well with Italian food – being that this is pretty much as Italian as you can get! Here are some suggestions for mains and other sides to make an Italian feast:
Dishes to make an Italian Feast
Tomato salad is best served fresh if you want that juicy, ripe experience. BUT leftovers is very tasty too – but don’t think of it as a fresh tomato salad. Think of it as a MARINATED tomato salad! Good for 3 days. 🙂 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
- 750g/ 1.5lb ripe tomatoes , any (cherry tomatoes, grape, Roma etc)
- 1/2 red onion , finely sliced
- 1/2 cup basil leaves , tightly packed, finely sliced (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar (Note 3 for others)
- 2.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (or other non spicy mustard)
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- Shake Dressing in a jar. Taste and add more salt or pepper, or oil if you want less tart.
- Cut Tomatoes - cut cherry tomatoes / grape tomatoes in half. If using large ones, cut into wedges then bite size pieces.
- Place tomatoes, onion and basil in a bowl.
- Pour over Dressing. Gently toss and serve immediately.
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