Extra tomatoes? Make this simple tomato salad recipe! It’s delicious, versatile and easy to make. This recipe features ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, soaked red onion, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Recipe yields 4 to 6 side salads using 1 3/4 pound tomatoes; you can cut the recipe in half by using either the cherry tomatoes or the pound of regular tomatoes.
½ cup chopped red onion (about 1/2 small red onion)
1 pint (12 ounces or 2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pound additional tomatoes (about 1 large, 2 medium or 3 small), cut into bite-sized wedges
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil and/or small basil leaves (or substitute parsley, dill and/or chives)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons thick balsamic vinegar* or balsamic glaze
1/2 English cucumber or 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
1 torn mozzarella ball or around 1 cup mini mozzarella balls or cubed part-skim mozzarella
1 ripe avocado, sliced or diced
Handful of baby arugula
First, fill a small bowl with ice water and add the chopped red onion (soaking the onion will tame its intense flavor and make it more crisp). Set aside as you prep the remaining ingredients.
To assemble the salad, spread the tomato wedges over a large serving platter. Drain the onions well, and layer about one-third of the onions on top. Add half of the cherry tomatoes, followed by a layer of any optional additions, followed by another one-third of the onions. Finish with the remaining cherry tomatoes, followed by the remaining onions, and sprinkle the basil all over.
Drizzle the olive oil over the salad, followed by the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the salt and several twists of black pepper on top. Serve promptly. This salad is best consumed within a couple of hours, but leftover salad will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for 3 days.
Change it up: Add any of the optional additions. Use any combination of tomatoes (you’ll need about 1 3/4 pounds total), cut into wedges or even large slices. You could also substitute ripe sliced peaches for some of the tomatoes.
*Balsamic vinegar note: For a beautiful drizzle, use high-quality, thick balsamic vinegar (I loveNapa Valley Naturals’ Grand Reserve Vinegar—it’s about $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 (DeLallo and Alessi make them). Or, make your own balsamic reduction by following the note below.
How to make balsamic reduction: Bring 1 cup (or more) runny balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small, thick bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often, until the vinegar is reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the reduction to cool, then transfer to an air-tight jar and store in the pantry. Balsamic reduction is great on everything from pizza to ice cream, Caprese and green salads, and more.
▸ Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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