Easy Tomato Salad

This summer, we have an abundance of tomatoes, which is wonderful. To make use of the surplus, I came up with this straightforward recipe for tomato salad. I just cut ripe tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, added some crunchy red onion, a ton of fresh basil, and topped it all with nice balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

The outcome is very fantastic! The tomatoes in this salad are raw and in their prime. Additionally, the recipe is highly adaptable, so you won’t get bored with it. Consider adding some peaches, mozzarella, arugula, avocado, cucumber, and/or mozzarella.

As a light, healthful side salad to any summer meal, serve this tomato salad. If you’re not serving a large group, I suggest halving the recipe because it tastes best when it’s newly made.

This spring, I grew heirloom tomatoes for the first time from seed. The process was enjoyable and simpler than anticipated. In actuality, I miscalculated the number of seeds that would germinate. I produced so many tomato plants that we were able to fill the three garden plots allotted to our family and give the surplus to others.

Strangely enough, amid a turbulent year, our expanding tomato plants have offered a sense of stability and promise. Next spring, I’ll repeat the process, perhaps leaving some space for additional peppers and cucumbers. I could also require a larger garden plot. I believe I’m addicted!


Ingredients for tomato salad

Tomatoes A excellent tomato salad must start with ripe tomatoes. In other words, avoid making tomato salad with inferior tomatoes. It simply isn’t worth it.

I prefer to combine cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half, with small- to medium-sized tomatoes, cut into bite-sized wedges, for this salad. But as long as they’re decent tomatoes, you can use any mix. In total, you’ll need around 1 3/4 pounds.

Onion, red

We’re going to soak our raw onion in ice-cold water while we prepare the other components because raw onion may be very strong. Your onions will become more crisp the colder the water is. A quick and easy technique to enhance the flavor and texture of your salad is to soak the onion.

new basil

Fresh tomatoes and bail are a perfect match for each other. This salad also tastes good with parsley, dill, and/or chives if you’re low on basil.

Olive Oil Extra Virgin & Thick Balsamic Vinegar
The flavors of your finest balsamic vinegar and olive oil will really come through on this salad, so this is the ideal time to break them out. If you’re interested, my preferred olive oils are Trader Joe’s Kalamata and California Olive Ranch Everyday.

I refer to an aged, premium balsamic vinegar that will pour beautifully over the salad when I say it is “thick.” Grand Reserve Vinegar from Napa Valley Naturals is fantastic; be careful to purchase the bottle marked “25 stars” (affiliate link). Alternately, use balsamic glaze or reduction sold in stores like DeLallo or Alessi. Using runny balsamic, you can even create your own balsamic glaze; see the recipe notes for details.

Also read: Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Pistachios

Pepper and salt

Use Maldon flaky sea salt if at all possible (affiliate link). A “finishing salt,” such as flaky salt, adds a hint of crisp texture and improves the flavor of whatever it is placed on top of. It’s so simple to make a recipe seem fancy! Use kosher salt if you don’t have table salt. Use half as much table salt if you don’t have kosher salt.

Finally, always use freshly ground black pepper. Pre-ground pepper has almost no flavor and is not pricey.

Variation of Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Easy! Add a layer of cucumber slices to this dish. For their crisp texture and less bitter skin, I choose English or Persian cucumbers. Try a slice of a standard garden cucumber to see if the skin is bitter; if so, scrape it off before slicing the remaining portion. Or for a fantastic substitute, try this Cucumber Tomato Salad with Greek Dressing.

Additional Changes

This recipe for tomato salad is quite adaptable. Add some mozzarella or ripe avocado to the salad for a heartier dish. Try adding a handful or two of arugula if you have any. Even ripe peaches might be used in place of some of the tomatoes. The recipe (which is below) offers instructions on amounts and how to layer in these extra components.


Tomato Salad

  • approximately one-half of a tiny red onion, chopped
  • a pint (12 ounces or 2 cups) of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound of additional tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized wedges (about 1 large, 2 medium, or 3 tiny).
  • 14 cup finely sliced fresh basil and/or small basil leaves (parsley, dill, or chives may be used instead)
  • Olive oil, extra virgin, two tablespoons
  • thick balsamic vinegar* or balsamic glaze, two tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or flaky sea salt, as desired
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Optional Supplements

  • 1 Persian or 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • One shredded mozzarella ball, one cup of micro mozzarella balls, or one cube of part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 avocado, cut into slices or cubes.
  • Several young arugula leaves


  1. First, add the red onion that has been chopped to a small bowl of ice water (soaking the onion will tame its intense flavor and make it more crisp). As you prepare the remaining ingredients, set aside.
  2. Spread the tomato wedges out on a sizable serving platter to assemble the salad. About one-third of the onions should be layered on top after being thoroughly drained. Place half of the cherry tomatoes first, then any additional ingredients on top, then another third of the onions. Finish with the last of the cherry tomatoes, then the last of the onions, and top with basil.
  3. Over the salad, drizzle the balsamic vinegar and then the olive oil. Add a generous amount of black pepper and salt on top. Serve quickly. Although it’s best to eat this salad right away, any leftovers will keep for three days in the refrigerator, covered.