This simple salad of tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil absolutely bursts with flavor. It's a good way to rescue lackluster supermarket tomatoes, though it's best when made with succulent vine-ripe summer tomatoes.
Although the recipe calls for plum tomatoes, it is also a great recipe to use with cherry or heirloom tomatoes. You can mix and match the tomatoes you include to make it even more colorful and enticing.
You only need a few minutes for this recipe, so it's an easy one to throw together for a barbecue, picnic, or a salad for a summer or fall dinner.
- 8 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 large garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cut the tomatoes and core them to remove the seeds.
- Cut the tomatoes into chunks of your desired size. Even if you are using small tomatoes, you need to cut them in half so they will absorb the flavors of the dressing.
- Place the chopped tomatoes in a large bowl.
- Peel and smash the garlic cloves. Chop them very finely so they will mix well throughout the salad.
- Add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and herbs (if you are using any) to the tomatoes.
- Toss well.
- Transfer to a serving dish, if desired, and finish with freshly ground black pepper to taste. You can also plate the salad individually for your guests and garnish with a sprig of herbs.
- Have bottles of balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the table for your guests to add a little extra drizzle if they desire.
The tomato salad can be served immediately or allowed to sit for awhile to absorb and develop flavor.
This salad is suitable for picnics and potlucks, as no ingredients require refrigeration. While it is enjoyable chilled, it is also palatable at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers and enjoy them within a day or so as the texture will change.