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
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4.15 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)
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 follow5 stars

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)

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

Becca @ The Dabblist

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.

A Bit of Brooklyn

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

Cindy Ricksgers

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


Nothing beats fresh, local tomatoes from the farmer’s market at this time of year – looking forward to making this recipe soon 🙂


Simple, healthy, and pretty! Perfect summer salad 🙂

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Love heirloom tomatoes. This looks delish.


this looks great – the pics are fantastic!
you really don’t need to do too much to tomatoes to make them tasty, do you?!

heather @ chiknpastry

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

Libby with Lemony Thyme

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

la domestique

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

Barbara The Healthy Nut

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

sandra M. Hagan

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


This looks incredible!

jamie @ green beans & grapefruit

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


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.


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


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


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.


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!


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!

Cajun Chef Ryan

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


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.


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


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.

Denise | Chez Danisse

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.

Katie (A Fork in Hand)

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.


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!

Diane, A Broad

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!

Julia {The Roasted Root}

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

Noelle @ greenlemonade

Heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous, aren’t they?

Samantha Angela

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.


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

Tracy A.

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!


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

Simply Life

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

J. D. Godwin

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.


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.


We better enjoy the summer tomatoes while we can!

Belinda @zomppa

Gorgeous. Can’t wait to try this one!


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!


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


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 🙂


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


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


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

Emma Galloway

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!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

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!

Anjali @ The Picky Eater

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!

Linda Maria

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

Miriam @ Overtime Cook

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