Summer tomato salad

This isn’t really a recipe, it’s just a reminder that if your tomatoes are perfectly ripe, you don’t need a salad dressing. Rich olive oil and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper bring out the sunny flavor of summer tomatoes and complement the sweet-tart acidity of the their natural juices.


  • Ripe summer tomatoes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt (preferably flaky kosher or sea salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil or oregano


  1. Cut the tomatoes into a 3/4-inch dice. Add to bowl.
  2. Drizzle a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently.
  3. Top with fresh basil (torn or chiffonade) or oregano.


  • Don’t worry if you don’t have fresh herbs – the salad is still wonderful without herbs if your tomatoes are great.
  • My mom’s favorite tomato variety is the early girl (also a favorite of Alice Waters). I also love the oddly shaped and colorful heirloom varieties at the farmers market, and on rare occasions I’ve been surprised by very good grape or cherry tomatoes from the store.
  • Favorite adds: fresh mozzarella cheese, crumbled feta, crushed or sliced garlic (to add flavor; remove before serving).
  • Of course you can slice the tomatoes as well, which can make a prettier presentation. But the diced tomatoes give off more of their lovely juice, which is heavenly sopped up with good bread.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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