Heirloom Tomato Salad

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.

 

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad

5 from 4 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.

Ingredients
  • 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*
Instructions
  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.
Notes

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.

Serves
6
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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Comments

  • 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.

    Kathleen
  • 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!

    serenity
  • 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.

    Sheryl
  • 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.

    Julie
  • We better enjoy the summer tomatoes while we can!

    Belinda @zomppa
  • Gorgeous. Can't wait to try this one!

    Den
  • 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!

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

    Kathryn
  • 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 :)

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

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

    Caz
  • 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
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