Dressed with a simple garlic and basil vinaigrette, this Heirloom Tomato Salad is summer on a plate. Use in-season tomatoes for a salad that’s juicy, naturally sweet, and full of flavor. It’s the perfect refreshing summer side dish! This salad is ready in under 10 minutes.
Our friend Rob visited us the other day with some fresh vegetables from his mom’s garden. Among them were these beautiful pineapple heirloom tomatoes. I immediately turned these bold-looking golden tomatoes into a quick salad. Simple as it is, the salad is summer on a plate and my family cannot stop eating it. So here I am sharing this Heirloom Tomato Salad recipe with you.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Heirloom Tomato Salad
- Juicy, sweet-tasting, and full of flavors!
- Super quick to assemble and incredibly gorgeous to plate up.
- Can keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
- A perfect simple summer dish to share at any gathering.
What Are Heirloom Tomatoes?
Curiously shaped and come with a range of rainbow colors, heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated, non-hybrid heirloom cultivars of tomato. In short, they are pollinated naturally, either by insects, birds, winds, or human hands, and not genetically modified.
What makes heirloom tomatoes heirloom comes down to the seeds. They are passed down from season to season, taken by the grower from the tomato plants that produced the best, delicious fruit. Through this process, the growers get to select certain traits like size, color, shape, or taste.
There are countless varieties of heirloom tomatoes: From Brandywine to Cherokee Chocolate to Ferries Wheel—each with its own intriguing name and unique character.
The ones that I used are pineapple heirloom tomatoes. They are known for its striking gold appearance, red-marbled skin, and the amazingly sweet, almost tropical taste.
Why Do Heirloom Tomatoes Taste Better?
Heirloom tomatoes are considered better tasting than hybrid tomato varieties because they are “breed true,” which means that the seeds can be saved to grow more of the same tomatoes year after. The growers typically grow them with flavors and individual quality in mind, and not for consistency and shelf life.
But take note, not all heirloom tomatoes are delicious, especially the commercial types. So you want to get your tomatoes from the right source, such as the farmers markets.
How to Make Heirloom Tomato Salad
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Heirloom tomatoes – They are the main star of the show, and I truly hope you can find quality heirloom tomatoes to enjoy this recipe; Farmers market is the best place to get flavorful tomatoes—heirloom or not. However, if you can’t find them, please try getting organic sweet tomatoes or garden-grown cherry tomatoes.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- White wine vinegar – Can be champagne vinegar or rice vinegar
- Dried oregano
- Dried parsley
- Sugar (optional) – tiny bit to balance the acidity
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Overview: Cooking Steps
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to mix.
- Cut heirloom tomatoes into bite-size pieces.
- Toss the tomatoes and dressing together. Refrigerate for 1 hour (optional).
Tips for Making Heirloom Tomato Salad
Using fresh herbs – If you like to use fresh basil or fresh mint, please do! I made this recipe pantry-friendly, so you can make this dressing anytime. However, if fresh herbs are handy, use a double portion specified in the recipe.
Adding a touch of green – I like to keep this salad simple to showcase the beautiful color of heirloom tomatoes, but you can definitely add cucumber to boost the color (and nutrition). A touch of fresh green herbs enhances the presentation (especially if you’re serving it to guests). I had fresh mint handy, so I used it to top the salad.
Making Ahead – If you plan to make this salad more than 1 hour ahead, the dressing may become solidified in the cold refrigerator. Do not forget to take out the salad so the solidified oil will melt in time to serve.
Make These Delicious & Easy Tomato Recipes
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Heirloom Tomato Salad
- 3 lbs heirloom tomatoes (ideally chilled for 1-2 hours just before serving)
For the Dressing
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (you can substitute rice vinegar or champagne vinegar)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- ⅛ tsp dried basil (if you use fresh, triple the amount)
- ⅛ tsp dried parsley (if you use fresh, triple the amount)
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- ¼ tsp sugar (optional)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- In a small mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients (I use this garlic press). Close the lid and shake well to emulsify.
- Core the tomatoes and cut them into wedges, then cut the wedges in half or thirds. Put them in a large serving bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and toss everything together. If you did not chill the tomatoes ahead of time, you can put the salad in the refrigerator for 1 hour. If you make this salad ahead, the olive oil in the dressing may solidify in the fridge. Take out the salad 30 minutes prior to serving, so the oil will become liquid. Toss the tomatoes in the bowl again before serving.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for 3 days.