Heirloom Tomato Salad

My favorite tomato salad this year - made with roasted and ripe tomatoes, capers, mozzarella, almonds, and chives.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

I've thrown together a lot of tomato salads in my life. And certainly not all need to be highlighted here...That said, I made one over the weekend that is a bit offbeat, in a good way -a seasonal salad 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.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Building on the tomatoes

Beyond the tomato base (use your best & make sure they're ripe), 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. Fresh herbs added a bright finishing accent.
Heirloom Tomato SaladHeirloom Tomato Salad

Tomato Salad Variations

Don't let my version influence you too much. Play around! 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. A version using this pesto is A+. Experiment with different tomato varietals and shapes. 
Heirloom Tomato Salad
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? Or partnered with oven-baked falafel tucked into warm pita bread? Best lunch I had all week.


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Heirloom Tomato Salad

4.15 from 7 votes

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*
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

*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 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


Thank you for this recipe! I've made it today and now it's my new favorite! The ingredients are natural and the instructions are easy to follow

Joshua Howard

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!


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.

Cyntha Treglown

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.


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

Sarah @ Fresh Living

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


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


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...


    Yes! I do something similar with tomato confit!

    Heidi Swanson

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.


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.

Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]

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!


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.

Kari Zazzara

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.


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

HS: Love hearing it A! xo


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!


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

Tiffany Spencer

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


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


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)....


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.


Raising a glass to tomato season! Awesome.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

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.


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... :)


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

vicki archer

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. :)

Dana @ Simply Romanesco

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


The tomatoes roasted look divine :), Miriam

Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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?


    Extra-virgin olive oil :)

    Heidi Swanson

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!


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

Rose Taylor @ Cake Recipes from Scratch

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

jeri kim lowe

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..

adam and Theresa

Oh, bring on summer down under!

Lizzy (Good Things)

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