Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe

I've thrown together a lot of tomato salads in my life. A lot. But, I don't think I've ever posted one here. I suppose they just seemed like a lot of the other tomato salads out there...But(!) I made a tomato salad over the weekend that is a bit offbeat, in a good way. And I thought it was worth sharing. I think the magic happened when I decided to roast half of the tomatoes. The salad became a mix of beautiful heirlooms in shades of greens, reds, yellows, and orange, tossed with their roasted, caramelized counterparts. The roasted tomatoes brought depth to the salad well worth the bit of extra time and effort.

Tomato Salad RecipeTomato Salad RecipeTomato Salad Recipe

Beyond that, I found myself pulling from ingredients around the kitchen. Capers, quickly pan-fried, added a mustardy pop. Crunch came from toasted almonds, and creamy fresh mozzarella delivered just the right amount of decadence. Beyond that, fresh herbs added a bright finishing accent. But don't let my version influence you too much. You can take the basic premise (a tomato salad made with a mix of ripe and roasted in-season tomatoes) in unlimited different directions. Try different nuts, herbs, and vinaigrettes. It's easy to prep nearly everything ahead of time here, and I have to tell you, this salad served on slabs of garlic-rubbed bread? Best lunch I had all week.


Heirloom Tomato Salad

HS: You can absolutely roast the tomatoes ahead of time if needed. Keep them in a jar covered in oil. Drain before continuing with the recipe.

2 pounds / 1 kg tomatoes ( a mix of small heirlooms & cherry tomatoes), halved

1/4 cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
couple pinches of fine grain sea salt

1/3 cup toasted almond slices
2 tablespoons capers, fried in a bit of oil
6 oz good mozzarella, torn into chunks
a handful of torn lettuce leaves
generous drizzle of lemon olive oil or chive oil*

chive (or herb) flowers or minced chives, to serve

To start, you're going to roast about 1/2 of the tomatoes - as I mention up above, preferably a mix of cherry and heirlooms. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven. Toss the tomatoes you will be roasting gently (but well) in a bowl along with the olive oil, sugar, and salt. Arrange them in a single layer, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, without stirring, until the tomatoes shrink a bit and start to caramelize around the edges, 45 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When ready to serve, gently toss the roasted and raw tomatoes with a bit of chive or lemon oil, most of the almonds, the capers, the mozzarella, and the lettuce. Taste and season with a bit more salt if needed. Serve topped with the remaining almonds, and any herb flowers you might have.

Serves 4 - 6 as a side.

*To make chive oil, use a food processor to puree 1/4 cup chopped chives with 1/2 cup / 120 ml good olive oil. Stir in another 1/4 cup finely chopped chives by hand. Season with sea salt to taste.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 60 min

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Your Comments

This looks delicious and gorgeous! I love roasted tomatoes in salad!


Linda Maria
July 24, 2012

I like to use parchment paper on my baking sheets. Would that be good to use for roasting the tomatoes as well? Looking forward to trying this salad. Yum!


Oh there is nothing like heirloom tomatoes in the summertime. Just that + mozzarella and I'm a happy camper. Roasting the tomatoes is absolutely brilliant. Can't wait to try this!


Averie @ Averie Cooks
July 24, 2012

I love tomatoes, tomatoe salads, really, there is no wrong way to do them and this sounds perfect.

your tomato pics are gorgeous! I love the wilty-ness contrasted with them intact in the 2 pics in the middle of the post...so pretty!


Emma Galloway
July 24, 2012

Sounds like my idea of the perfect salad, although it would be hard for me not to add in a little feta too... Yum!


July 25, 2012

This salad looks beautiful. I love roasted tomatoes. Can't wait to try making a version this weekend!


July 25, 2012

Those are some pretty good looking tomatoes you got there! I absolutely love the combination of spices and seasoning in this salad!


July 25, 2012

I adore roasted tomatoes in anything, the addition of them here sounds just perfect.


July 25, 2012

Hi Heidi, When I visited SF several years ago and went to the market at the Ferry Building I was amazed by all the different types of heirloom tomatoes - their colours and shapes and their gorgeous names......absolutely stunning..........will definately be keeping this salad in mind for summer......

HS: That's where I picked these up Kate :)


July 25, 2012

roasted tomatoes, my favorite, I will do it on my own hand!


Belinda @zomppa
July 25, 2012

We better enjoy the summer tomatoes while we can!


Simply Life
July 25, 2012

oh what a beautiful salad. I can't think of a better summer lunch.


July 25, 2012

wow and WOW! The colors ALONE make me want to create this beautiful dish. I have been getting into dehydrating fruit and vegetables (from the garden for later use), and seeing the roasted tomatoes makes me think that roasting is next on the list! BTW, made your carrot cake yesterday, in my cast-iron, and turned out absolutely scrumptious. That recipe kicks. Thanks for your lovely site!


Tracy A.
July 25, 2012

I looks jut wonderful - I can imagine how it tastes by the pictures alone!


July 25, 2012

I can't wait for our garden tomatoes to ripen. They are almost there! My plants enormous this year, maybe because of all of the heat and sunshine. Does the 'chive oil' have oil in it?

HS: Indeed Kathleen! ;)....1/2 cup.


Samantha Angela
July 25, 2012

Heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous, aren't they?


H -
This could not come at a more perfect time as I am swimming in tomatoes of all kinds. I might also give this salad a try with your garlicky green dressing perhaps drizzled on that crunchy loaf of bread :-)

Have you ever tried to grow your own heirloom tomatoes? Next summer I'd like to try! - noelle


Yout little heirlooms look delicious! I love the way those little guys pop in your mouth when eaten whole. Your salad looks awesome and I bet the roasted ones turned out so flavorful and delicious too!


Diane, A Broad
July 25, 2012

I did a caprese entirely with roasted tomatoes the other day, and I thought it lacked the brightness and textural pop of fresh tomatoes. Half and half might be the answer!


July 25, 2012

Roasted tomatoes are absolutely delicious! I make them all summer to add to sandwiches, pasta, salads and pretty much anything I can think of. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I'm always looking for new ways to spruce up my usual tomato salads.


What a perfect summer recipe! We're about to be bombarded with a bumper crop of tomatoes here in central NY. This salad will be a wonderful way to enjoy them.


Denise | Chez Danisse
July 25, 2012

A nice ripe tomato is always a treat, but I've never tasted a tomato salad with a combination of ripe and roasted tomatoes, maple syrup, or toasted almond slices. Inventive and very appealing. Thank you for inspiring us to remember the rewards of experimenting.


July 25, 2012

Beautiful! It reminds me of the "Tomato Party" in Yotam Ottolenghi's amazing cookbook, Plenty. His recipe roasts half the tomatoes as well, but uses couscous (two sizes), and no mozzarella. Love your use of capers, too.


July 25, 2012

This looks so good I'm drooling. I love love love roasted tomatoes and never thought to mix them in a salad! Genius!


Cajun Chef Ryan
July 25, 2012

We just picked about 5 pounds of various tomatoes last night, now I have a great way to enjoy the benefits of the crop!

Bon appetite!


July 25, 2012

Beautiful and just the thing for all those heirlooms I traded for at the market last week. There are some perks to being an overworked small business owner!


July 25, 2012

Beautiful salad. I especially love the chive oil and the way you made it. I'm going to try this technique with fresh basil as well. What a terrific way to get another layer of herb flavor in your salad. Thank you.


July 25, 2012

What an interesting tomato salad. And with chive oil? What a treat.


July 25, 2012

Oh I have such a soft spot for heirloom tomatoes. Aren't they the most beautiful things to photograph? All those colors and quirky shapes. I like your take on this. Truly a summer pleasure. I'd love to have it alongside your quesadilla! :) I'm going to have to make that happen.


July 25, 2012

Kate P, and Heidi, I was at that same Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building several years ago and LOVED all the colors, the flavors, and the simple beauty of it. I live on the East Coast, but one day I'm hoping to go back to SF and to the Farmer's Market. I've been out there 3 times in my lifetime, and there's something special about it that agrees with me!


July 25, 2012

Gorgeous. Can't wait to try this one!


July 25, 2012

Would lemon juice and olive oil be the same as using lemon olive oil?

HS: It's not quite the same Julie - there is something quite special about good lemon olive oil, where the lemons and olives are pressed together. Definitely worth seeking out a good one - I love the Etruria Lemon Oil, and O makes a beautiful line of citrus oils.


July 25, 2012

Oooh, another delicious use for roasted (and fresh!) tomatoes. Thanks, Heidi!


This looks incredible!


July 25, 2012

Raw plus roasted tomatoes? Sign me up! I also like the addition of toasted almonds for crunchy texture. :)


July 25, 2012

I love that you use chive flowers, Heidi. They were a favourite part of my parents' garden growing up, and I always wondered if they were as yummy as chives. I really want to put them in perogies for a colourful surprise upon cutting, and an alliummy surprise upon tasting.


sandra M. Hagan
July 25, 2012

this is different, delicious, and changes up from the norm.


J. D. Godwin
July 25, 2012

as long as i have fresh tom & basil I'm a happy camper


What a great twist on tomato salad! Can't wait to try it. My tomatoes are just starting to come in!


la domestique
July 25, 2012

I'm obsessed with roast tomatoes, and love the idea of making a salad with them. Fried capers are another favorite. Beautiful!


Beautiful dish! Love the idea too of roasting extra tomatoes to have on hand. And as always lovely pics too.


heather @ chiknpastry
July 25, 2012

this looks great - the pics are fantastic!

you really don't need to do too much to tomatoes to make them tasty, do you?!


July 25, 2012

Love heirloom tomatoes. This looks delish.


Simple, healthy, and pretty! Perfect summer salad :)


July 25, 2012

Nothing beats fresh, local tomatoes from the farmer's market at this time of year - looking forward to making this recipe soon :)


July 25, 2012

Beautiful salad that I bet delighted your tastebuds as much as your eyes.


Cindy Ricksgers
July 25, 2012

Looks wonderful! What a great idea to combine fresh and roasted tomatoes! Thank you.


A Bit of Brooklyn
July 25, 2012

That photo (2nd from the top) is breathtaking. If I had a bunch of tomatoes like that, I might just want to stare at them all day long.


July 25, 2012

Heidi, can you offer suggestions for alternatives to slathering this on bread to those of us who are wheat and/or grain-free?


July 25, 2012

Sprinkle a little home-grown thyme on those tomatoes before roasting them... sublime!!!


Becca @ The Dabblist
July 25, 2012

I LOVE tomato season! Bring on this recipe in my kitchen.


Lizzy (Good Things)
July 25, 2012

Oh, bring on summer down under!


adam and Theresa
July 26, 2012

tomato combinations certainly work - like putting a couple of sound-dried tomatoes in tomato sauce or gordon ramsay's recipe for gazpacho that uses tomato puree as well as fresh. Looks lovely. When are you coming to London again? This time you've got to get up to Antepiler..


jeri kim lowe
July 26, 2012

Love the idea of roasting the heirlooms. Thanks Heidi! Arugula too? Beautiful photographs, btw.


What a simple but soooo tasty recipe! :) Tomatoes are definitely my favorite summer garden treat... So I can see me making this more often :)


July 26, 2012

I absolutely love heirloom tomatoes! And what a great idea to use roasted tomatoes and ripe one as well! And to serve it on garlicky bread! I'm sold! I can't wait to try this!


July 26, 2012

This looks fantastic Heidi. You mention roasting the tomatoes ahead of time and storing them in oil, something I've never tried - I always freeze them. Do you use olive oil? Or something else?


This looks so delicious! Your photos are incredible, what type of camera do you use? Thanks for sharing :)


The tomatoes roasted look divine :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters


July 26, 2012

Wow, I can't wait to try this. It looks so delicous! Thank you for inspiring me with this incredibly resourceful website.


Hi Heidi, Thank you for this gorgeous recipe! I’m not a big tomato eater but I had my first (I know it sounds strange) Heirloom Tomato Salad a couple of weeks ago at SW Steakhouse in Las Vegas and absolutely loved it! Now, I can’t wait to try your version. :)


vicki archer
July 27, 2012

looks so delicious...can't wait to try this out...yum... xv


July 27, 2012

Perfect timing indeed! Been having tomato salads almost every day, and will definitely try switching it up with your half-fresh/half-roasted idea! Thank you for yet another great recipe... :)


July 27, 2012

I love roasted tomatoes of any kind. And always finding ways to eating them other than on a sandwich, toppings for pizza, and recently, pureed into a yummy roasted salsa. I love the idea of keeping it simple and this salad looks great.


Raising a glass to tomato season! Awesome.


July 28, 2012

I'm going to the Farmers Market this morning to get some tomatoes so I can make this. It looks delicious.


July 28, 2012

Thanks for this recipe and all the inspiration you provide! Quick question: if you pre-roast the tomatoes and cover in oil, do they need to be refrigerated or can they stay on the counter? Warmly, Abi

HS: Hi Abi - I refrigerate them, and then let them come back to room temperature if I'm using them straight from the jar.


July 28, 2012

This looks so good but I can't imagine running the oven for up to an hour while paying to keep a cool house. Would this work if I pop those tomatoes in my cast iron frying pan for a cooked version?

HS: Hi Carol - I think the trick there would be to cook them in a single layer over medium heat without stirring at all (so you don't end up with a sauce)....


July 28, 2012

I just made this and it was wonderful. I had arugula so I used that instead of lettuce.
Great recipe! Thanks.


July 30, 2012

what a beautiful salad! Thanks for the recipe this looks great :) check out my mango salsa


July 30, 2012

I've always roasted tomatoes as a way to deal with tasteless out of season fruit. Never thought to do it with delicious ones that already taste like something! The contrast of the bright, lively fresh tomatoes and the dark, velvety roasted ones is divine. Few things more summery.


Tiffany Spencer
July 30, 2012

Yum, Heidi. I'm coming over for leftovers.


July 30, 2012

Spectacular, sophisticated, refreshing way to enjoy the best tomatoes of the season -- served alongside your summer corn salad at a champagne-soaked ladies night, to rave reviews.

HS: Yes please, on the champagne-soaked evening. I definitely need to get one of those on the calendar :)..Glad you liked the salad!


July 30, 2012

Heidi, I made this yesterday and it was perfection! The caramelized heirlooms are the perfect amount of sweetness!

HS: Love hearing it A! xo


Kari Zazzara
July 30, 2012

Thanks Heidi, making this tonight with a mix of homegrown and tomatero farms cherry and early girls. Bet it would be just as nice with kale as well.


July 31, 2012

Now live on the East Coast, but lived in SF for 27 years - oh, how I miss that Ferry Bldg Farmer's Market - there is none other like it! Can't wait to try this recipe when my heirlooms are ripe in another week or two. Wonderful madness to roast 1/2 and leave the other half unroasted!


This is so beautiful! We've been roasting farmer's market tomatoes almost every week and tossing them in pasta and olive oil, with whatever herbs and greens we also find at the farmer's market. Best summer dinner ever.


July 31, 2012

I love this - perfect pairing of the cooked and raw...

re: roasting the tomatoes - I've been doing this for about four years - I roast up a big pan of them and put the results into small plastic containers. Cover with a layer of olive oil and freeze. I've found that by putting the olive oil on top before freezing the tomatoes, there is no freezer burn. Even after a year. Amazing...


July 31, 2012

My daughter made this over the weekend for a neighborhood get-together. It was amazing! I can´t wait to make it with my tomatoes.


July 31, 2012

This is the ultimate caprese salad! The chive flowers turn the bowl into a perfect rainbow of colors. Thanks for sharing.


August 1, 2012

WOW, this looks incredible!! The salad looks beautiful and those baked tomatoes look yummy. I'm going to try this recipe now!


August 1, 2012

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Sarah @ Fresh Living
August 1, 2012

A rainbow of tomatoes! Incredible as always. I bet it tasted just as good as it looked!


August 2, 2012

I modified this to fit what was in my cupboard in so many ways that it'd be tedious to enumerate them -- yet it still tasted delicious! Thanks for the inspiration.


Cyntha Treglown
August 3, 2012

I just ran across the Heirloom Tomato Salad. It looks good and wonderful to fix
for the summer, with its fresh vegetables
coming in season now.


August 6, 2012

Wow! What stunning photos and recipe. I've never thought to add capers to a tomato salad but now it seems like an obvious oversight!