Indulge in a burst of fresh and invigorating flavors with this Tomato Basil Salad! Drizzled with a luscious dressing this salad is a culinary masterpiece that will awaken your taste buds. With just a few simple steps, you can whip up this delightful dish that radiates the essence of summer. Whether it's a side to your main course or a standalone treat, this Tomato Basil Salad promises to elevate any meal to extraordinary heights.
Simple tomato salad
When summer produce is at its peak, you should do very little with it. That’s why I created this salad recipe, it only includes tomatoes and basil leaves as they are, that's it! Oh, and it includes dressing of course.
This simple salad is very Italian in its flavors. Balsamic vinegar with tomatoes and basil is a classic combo in Italy and I think it's just delicious, so why not have it?
Typically, this combination is enhanced with the addition of cheese, transforming the salad into a delectable Caprese salad. Since I wanted the salad to be parve for a Friday night meal, I kept the cheese out. Baby mozzarella cheese balls fit perfectly if you choose to have it with a dairy meal like for Shavuot.
If you must add another vegetable to this salad then you can 1-2 cut cucumbers.
Cherry tomato salad
As you can see in the pictures, I choose to use 2 types of cherry tomatoes – one is darker. The darker cherry tomatoes are richer with lycopene, an antioxidant that is in red vegetables, and is super healthy. Some of the cherry tomatoes were a bit bigger so I cut them to quarters, the smaller tomatoes I simply cut to halves. As mentioned, I really didn’t do much with the sweet ripe tomatoes.
Salad with basil
When using raw basil, it can turn black very fast, especially if you cut it with a knife. If you have smaller leaves then just add them as they are and if it's very big leaves, it's better to tear them with your hands to avoid them turning black quickly.
Valuable tips to ensure your tomato basil salad turns out to be a delightful and appetizing dish:
Choose ripe and flavorful tomatoes
Opt for ripe cherry tomatoes that are vibrant in color and have a sweet, juicy taste. Fresh, high-quality tomatoes will elevate the overall taste of your salad.
Go for fresh basil leaves
Use fresh basil leaves to get the best aroma and flavor. Avoid dried basil, as it won't provide the same intensity of taste.
Cut tomatoes evenly
To ensure even distribution of flavors and a visually appealing presentation, cut the cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
Tear basil leaves
Instead of chopping basil, tear the leaves with your hands. Tearing releases the natural oils and keeps the leaves from bruising, preserving their aromatic essence.
Prepare the dressing separately
Mix the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl before pouring it over the tomatoes and basil. This ensures the dressing is well-mixed and evenly coats the salad.
Adjust seasoning to taste
Be mindful of the salt and pepper, adding them gradually and adjusting to your preference. Taste the salad as you mix to get the perfect balance.
Marinate for better flavor
If time allows, let the salad marinate in the dressing for 15-30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and intensify.
Serve fresh and at the right temperature
Tomato basil salad is best enjoyed fresh and at room temperature. Avoid refrigerating it for too long, as tomatoes tend to lose flavor and texture when chilled.
Customize with additional ingredients
Feel free to get creative and add your favorite ingredients to the salad. You can toss in some mozzarella cheese, olives, red onions, or pine nuts to enhance the taste and texture.
Garnish before serving
For a final touch of elegance, garnish the salad with a few whole basil leaves or a light drizzle of balsamic glaze just before serving.
Absolutely! While cherry tomatoes are commonly used for their sweetness and convenient size, you can use other types of tomatoes too. Choose tomatoes that are ripe and flavorful, such as grape tomatoes or heirloom varieties, to ensure the salad's taste and texture remain delicious.
If you have leftover salad, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, keep in mind that tomatoes tend to release their juices over time, so the salad may become a bit watery. To freshen it up before serving, you can drain the excess liquid and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Yes, you can prepare the dressing in advance and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It's best to take the dressing out of the fridge a few minutes before using it to allow the olive oil to come to room temperature and mix well with the other ingredients again.
Definitely! The beauty of this salad is its versatility. Feel free to add other vegetables like cucumber, bell peppers, or red onions to enhance the flavor and add extra crunch. Just ensure that the flavors complement the tomatoes and basil.
While the salad is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the ingredients in advance and mix them together just before serving. This way, you can save time and still have a vibrant and flavorful salad to offer your guests.
The salad is best consumed within a day or two of preparation for optimal freshness and taste. After that, the tomatoes may start to break down, and the basil leaves may wilt.
Fresh basil leaves provide a much more pronounced flavor and aroma compared to dried basil. While you can use dried basil in a pinch, the taste won't be the same. Fresh basil is highly recommended for the best results.
Yes, this tomato basil salad is vegetarian and vegan-friendly as long as you use plant-based ingredients for the dressing and adhere to a vegan diet.
Certainly! Adding some fresh mozzarella pearls or crumbled feta cheese can take this salad to another level. The creamy and salty notes of cheese pair wonderfully with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the herbal aroma of basil.
While this salad is typically served as a side dish or appetizer, you can absolutely enjoy it as a light and refreshing main course. To make it heartier, consider adding some tofu for added protein.
Other salad recipes to try:
This salad can go well with a BBQ meal, as a fresh side dish. And if you want to have different salad options in your meal then check out my salad recipe index.
For more tomatoes recipes, check out my tomato recipe index
Make this Tomato basil salad today!
Quick and easy to make, this salad is a perfect side dish or a light and healthy snack to relish any time of the day. Indulge in this blissful medley of flavors and enjoy the goodness of nature in every bite! So why wait? Embrace the pure joy of fresh ingredients and savor the vibrant harmony of flavors right now!
Tomato Basil Salad
- 10 ounces (300 grams) cherry tomatoes
- Few basil leaves
For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and pepper by your taste
- 2 cloves garlic – minced
- Cut the cherry tomatoes to halves or quarters - depending on their size.
- Place the cut tomatoes in a bowl.
- With your hands, tear the basil leaves and place them with the tomatoes.
- In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients.
- Pour the dressing on the tomatoes and basil.
- Mix well.
- Serve and enjoy!