Easy Summer Tomato Salad

A lazy tomato salad recipe meant for even lazier late summer suppers, this easy salad recipe is at its best when made with in-season tomatoes. The best part about tomato season? You don’t actually have to do anything to the pile of heirloom tomatoes once you bring them home from the market (or from your garden, if you’re lucky).

On the hottest days this tomato salad is heavenly on its own as a light meal, but I would wholeheartedly recommend the addition of a crusty baguette if only to mop up every precious drop of vinegar-soused tomato flesh.

Variations on this salad recipe:

  • Combine tomatoes with other seasonal fruit! In August I like to use locally grown watermelon, peaches, nectarines, spicy peppers, and cherries in this salad.
  • Transform the tomato salad into a bread salad with the addition of stale bread. Bread salads like fattoush and panzanella are another favourite weeknight staple when the weather is warm. (and the perfect way to use those stale bread ends in the freezer).
  • Cut up an avocado or two, arrange the slices on top of the tomatoes. Swap out the sherry vinegar for the juice of one lime and the fresh basil for cilantro.
  • Try these other savoury tomato-friendly cheeses in place of the parmesan: manchego, queso de cabra al romero (a Spanish goat’s milk cheese encased in a thick crust of dried rosemary), or fresh goat’s milk cheese.
  • Basil is the gold standard when it comes to tomato salads, but I’ve had equal luck with other tomato-friendly fresh herbs: Flat leaf parsley, cilantro, oregano, thyme, and even mint are equally as stunning used on their own or when combined together.

Tomato salad serving suggestions:

  • Good bread and an equally good spread. I like hummus, roasted eggplant dip, chèvre (plain or with chives or another kind of herb mixed in), avocado, or cultured butter.
  • Pack a picnic basket with all the salad ingredients, cutting up the tomatoes ahead of time if you’d like, and assemble the salad in the park or at the beach. Round out the meal with another summery salad and a bottle of chilled rosé (sparkling if you feel so inclined). I like to make this halloumi salad with roasted peppers and sweet corn salad with basil and feta for such delightful outdoor excursions.
Composed summer tomato salad with fresh basil and shaved parmesan in a white shallow bowl with baguette slices and goat cheese.
Composed summer tomato salad with fresh basil and shaved parmesan in a white shallow bowl.

Easy Summer Tomato Salad

Ashley Linkletter
An easy summer salad made with ripe seasonal tomatoes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Servings 2


  • 4 large tomatoes, sliced or torn into large chunks room temperature
  • 1 pinch coarse salt
  • 1 pinch white sugar (optional if the tomatoes are already very sweet)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil, the fruitier the better
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 handful fresh basil, cut into a loose chiffonade
  • shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano (as much as you'd like)
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper (to taste)


  • Arrange tomato pieces in a large shallow bowl or serving plate.
  • Sprinkle with the tomatoes with a pinch of coarse salt and a pinch of white sugar if the tomaotoes aren't particularly sweet.
  • Stir the tomatoes and let them rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Drizzle the olive oil and sherry vinegar over the tomatoes. Gently stir to coat.
  • Finish the salad with a layer of shaved parmesan and fresh basil. Add red peper flakes, coarse salt, and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
  • Serve at room temperature.
Keyword tomato salad
Yellow tomato salad on a white heart-shaped plate on a blue background.

I’ve been listening to Chopin nonstop for about a week — it’s calming and beautiful and, best of all, I can write and even read at the same time. There’s something so lovely about Chopin’s Nocturnes quietly playing as go about my everyday activities; I would describe it as a kind of warm and gentle stillness.

Chopin – Nocturnes

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