Best tomato salad

This tomato salad recipe is the perfect, sunny, flavourful accompaniment to long summer’s evenings in the garden, basking by the barbecue and drinking silly amounts of Pimms. There’s no cooking involved; just some slicing which is easily done with a glass by your side and the sun pouring in through the kitchen window.

If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself with a glut of tomatoes late in the summer. This salad is remarkable in that you can make it again and again, and it doesn’t become boring. It brings out the gorgeous flavour of the sun all those tomatoes have soaked up; the basil, oregano and sweet balsamic vinegar all work together to make your tomatoes platonically tomato-ish.

Use whatever tomatoes come to hand. This salad is really pretty with a couple of yellow tomatoes scattered among the reds, or with large and small-fruiting varieties mixed together. Here, I’ve used small vine tomatoes and some baby plum tomatoes. To serve four as a side dish (or two as a lunch on its own with some crusty bread) you’ll need:

20 small tomatoes (see note above)
1 shallot
1 handful basil leaves
½ handful oregano leaves
1 small clove garlic
1 ½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons good olive oil
Salt and pepper

Slice the tomatoes and lay them out on a large serving plate. Slice the shallot into thin rings, chop the garlic as finely as you’re physically capable of, and scatter over. Roll the basil leaves into little tubes and slice them thinly to cut it into thin strips (chiffonade), and throw them over the salad with the whole oregano leaves.

Immediately before serving, drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over, and season with salt and plenty of pepper. Crusty bread will come in handy to mop up the juices.

9 Replies to “Best tomato salad”

  1. What a beautiful picture! I love this sort of salad, because the basil and oil and pepper and vinegar make even hard winter tomatoes taste good.

  2. Thank you for this lovely recipe, I found it through Googling Tomato Salad, and this was the best one with the simplest ingredients.

    Going to try it tonight.

    Cassandra x

  3. Its even better when you sprinkle the tomatoes with salt first and leave for 15 minutes. This makes the flavour more intense – bringing out the watery juice which dilutes the flavour (and also takes most of the salt away as well)!

  4. Hi Andy! I do agree that salting tomatoes which aren’t at their best is a good way to get the most out of them – but I find the juices from a really ripe tomato are actually a bonus in this salad. Salting the toms for this in the winter is a great idea though – thanks!

  5. As the recipe suggests, a good recipe for all those tomatoes grown outside which go red at once at the end of summer. Simple to make. Everyone enjoyed it, even my two lads who won’t usually eat tomatoes!!

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