The Best Summer Tomato Salad (It’s Better than Caprese!)

updated Jul 12, 2023
Tomato Salad

This simple salad, made with thinly-sliced red onions, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of oil and vinegar, lets juicy summer tomatoes shine.

Serves4

Prep12 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Well, the day has arrived. The moment you’ve been waiting for all year long. You wander over to your local farmers market and bam! There they are. The summer’s best tomatoes have landed! They’re gorgeous, they smell like heaven, and, judging by how weighty they feel in your hand, you know these babies are juicy. You buy as many as you can carry and bring them home.

Now you’re standing at your kitchen counter and wondering what to do next. You could just eat them as they are — with a generous sprinkling of sea salt, of course. Or you could take that idea a step further and make the best, juiciest summer tomato salad.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

A Simple Summer Salad That Lets Tomatoes Shine

This tomato salad with red onions and fresh herbs couldn’t be any simpler to make. You’ll start by thinly slicing a red onion and soaking it in cold water — this tones down the onion’s pungency. Next, you’ll cut up your tomatoes into chunky slices and combine them with fresh herbs. Feel free to use your favorite fine herb here — basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, or a combination — since they all work equally well in this recipe.

Keeping in line with the simplicity theme, this salad is dressed plainly with salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. The key to the juiciness of this salad is letting it sit at room temperature before serving, which gives the salt a chance to draw out the tomatoes’ juices.

Add some grilled ciabatta bread and a glass of crisp white wine, and the best, easiest summer dinner is served.

Tomato Salad

This simple salad, made with thinly-sliced red onions, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of oil and vinegar, lets juicy summer tomatoes shine.

Prep time 12 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    small or 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    heirloom tomatoes (about 3 medium tomatoes)

  • 1/4 cup

    packed fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, or a combination, coarsely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the onion in small bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, about 10 minutes.

  2. Core the tomatoes and slice into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons. Place in a large bowl. Add the herbs, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Drain the onions and add to the bowl. Toss to combine and let stand for at least 10 or up to 30 minutes before serving. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, vinegar, or oil as needed.