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

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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!

Post Your Comment


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! CCR =:~)

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

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