This fresh tomato salad, dressed with a simple dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, is ready in just 10 minutes.
It's a summer staple, and I make it at least once a week. It goes with many main dishes, including meat, chicken, and fish.
I love making salads in the summer. Whether main-dish salads such as a chicken cobb salad or side salads such as a creamy cucumber salad, they are tasty and fresh and save you from heating up the oven.
This simple and quick tomato salad is the side dish I make most frequently in the summer. It's easy to make, delicious, and you can make it ahead of time. What more can you ask for?
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty salad. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Fresh tomatoes: I use cherry tomatoes. Cutting them in half is a good idea so they don't slide off people's forks.
- Green onions: I use the green parts only. The white parts are a bit too sharp.
- Olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is the most flavorful.
- Balsamic vinegar: I highly recommend using balsamic vinegar in this recipe and not any other type of vinegar.
- Dijon mustard: This mild and creamy mustard helps the dressing emulsify. I don't recommend using yellow mustard in this recipe.
- Orange zest: I wouldn't skip it. It greatly enhances the flavor of the salad.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use by half, or the salad could become too salty.
- As mentioned above, you can use chopped tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes.
- Minced red onions can be a good substitute for green onions. Since red onions are pretty sharp, I only use 2 tablespoons.
- Sometimes I add a minced garlic clove to the dressing.
Tomato Salad Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this salad:
- Your first step is to mix chopped fresh tomatoes (I usually use sliced cherry tomatoes) with chopped scallions. (Photos 1-3).
- The next step is to add a tasty dressing made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and orange zest. (Photos 4-5).
- Mix the salad, let it rest, then serve. (Photo 6).
I would encourage you not to omit the orange zest from the dressing. It adds a wonderful layer of freshness.
The Dijon mustard is also important and has two functions - it adds flavor and helps emulsify the dressing.
I like to use cherry tomatoes. Although you can use a similar amount of regular tomatoes, which would be about 2 cups of chopped tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes.
It's best to use fresh, firm summer tomatoes; if you can get them at the farmer's market, that's perfect.
I do recommend cutting them in half. Eating whole cherry tomatoes with utensils can be tricky. They tend to slide right off. Halved cherry tomatoes are easier to eat.
Cutting them in half is not difficult. It just takes a little time. I timed myself today, and slicing 2 cups of small cherry tomatoes took me 5 minutes. Not too bad!
Not necessarily. Here's a good article that says you SHOULD refrigerate tomatoes. I try to buy tomatoes at the farmer's market, avoid refrigerating them, and use them within a day or two.
But if I plan on storing them longer, I refrigerate them. I remove refrigerated tomatoes from the fridge 1-2 hours in advance to allow them to get to room temperature.
In addition, I often serve this tasty salad when I make a complex main dish that requires my full attention, such as duck breast or keto lasagna. Since I can make the salad in advance, it frees me to focus on the main dish.
And sometimes, I turn it into a complete meal by topping it with grilled halloumi. It's delicious and makes a great lunch if you have leftovers the next day.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Take them out of the fridge an hour before serving them, and remix the salad.
More Tomato Recipes
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Tomato Salad Recipe
- 1 pint firm cherry tomatoes halved (2 cups; can sub chopped tomatoes)
- ¼ cup green onions chopped; green parts only
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a serving bowl, combine the tomatoes and the green onions.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until they emulsify into a thick, velvety dressing. If the dressing seems too thick, add a teaspoon of water and mix it in.
- Pour the dressing on top of the vegetables and mix to combine.
- Let the salad rest for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving. This is not strictly mandatory, but it does help the flavors meld and improves the salad's flavor.