Bright and beautiful, my marinated tomato salad recipe is a bowl of summer sunshine!
But this marinated tomato salad is the best summer salad recipe! Let’s cook!
There are certain flavors that just scream SUMMER! And this recipe has them all!
- Fresh, juicy tomatoes
- Savory and tart flavors
- Perfect side dish for any main meal
- Refreshing to the MAX!
How To Make Marinated Tomato Salad Recipe
This just might be the simplest salad recipe you’ll ever make!
Start by sprinkling your tomatoes with salt in a bowl. Transfer the tomatoes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and let them drain for a total of 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Get the excess moisture out of there!
Next, place the drained tomatoes in a medium bowl and add your remaining ingredients except for the cheese. Very gently — no bruising the arugula! — toss until everything is evenly coated.
Allow the salad to marinate for up to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Sprinkle with cheese and serve!
I’ve been searching for the perfect tomato salad for a long time. First, I tried a tomato-onion salad recipe that was good but felt like it was missing something. Next, I made a cherry tomato salad recipe that turned out a little bit better, but still didn’t quite have that “wow” factor I was looking for.
But then I made this tomato salad recipe. And friends, I think I found the one! It’s refreshing and delicious with a perfect combination of flavors: the subtle spiciness from the baby arugula, the earthy sweetness from the basil, the creaminess from the chèvre cheese.
This really is the perfect tomato salad recipe!
Now, a few notes for you!
- Dressing: I like to use red wine vinegar, but when it comes to tomato salad, balsamic vinegar is never a bad choice! It’s a little sweet, so it would add some complexity to the vinaigrette, and combined with the basil, it would give this salad a Caprese twist.
- Crunch: Personally, I like this salad just how it is, but you could turn this into a tomato-cucumber salad recipe if you’ve got a bunch of cucumbers to use up as well. Just dice ‘em up and throw ‘em in, no other changes necessary.
- Timing: Make sure to read through the whole recipe before you get started so you have an idea of how the timing works on each step. The tomatoes need to rest for a while after you salt them, which helps them to absorb the excess liquid so the finished salad doesn’t turn out watery. It’s an important step, so don’t skip it!
- After salting and resting the tomatoes, they need about 15 minutes to marinate in the dressing and really soak up those flavors. This is a very simple tomato salad, but the resting and marinating combined add up to about 45 minutes, so be sure to plan ahead!
- Tomatoes: Ah, the star! You want the freshest, ripest tomatoes you can find for this recipe. They should be plump and heavy with no bruises or soft spots.
- A great way to tell that tomato will be packed with flavor is to give it a sniff, right at the top where the stem is—if it has a strong, sweet, “tomatoey” smell, you can almost bet it’s going to taste amazing.
- Cheese: There are a lot of tomato mozzarella salad recipes out there, but I decided to make mine with the chèvre instead. Chèvre is the French word for goat’s milk cheese whereas mozzarella is made with cow’s milk.
- Chevre has an awesome tangy flavor and can be soft and creamy, or firmer and crumbly. I used a crumbly variety in my recipe. The tartness of the cheese goes beautifully with the brightness of the tomatoes in this salad.
- Arugula: Ah, the arugula! This delicious but fickle green can easily bruise if you’re too rough with it, making it way too bitter. So, handle your salad gently!
Tools to Make
You only need a few simple tools to make this salad!
- Bowls for mixing
- A baking sheet for draining
- Paper towels
- A spoon
That’s it! So simple, right? As it should be!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
This marinated tomato salad recipe LOVES the fridge! The more chilled, the better. Let it hang out in the fridge for up to four days.
Can You Freeze This?
You can, but the flavors and texture will be way different! Frozen greens and tomatoes always come out with distinct frozen textures. And the beauty of this salad is its freshness — it just doesn’t taste the same frozen! So even though it is possible, I don’t recommend freezing this salad.
Make Ahead Tips
This salad needs time to marinate — up to 15 minutes — but too long and the arugula will start to wilt.
If you want to make this salad up to a day ahead of time, exclude the arugula until just before serving!
This marinated tomato salad recipe is just dying for a chance to enhance your summer barbecue! Whip up some of my delicious shish kabobs or my honey balsamic sheet pan chicken (try this on the grill too!) — or stay inside but keep the flavors raging with my Crockpot pulled pork. Rich, succulent main dishes are the kinds this tomato salad loves to support!
Want more tomato salad recipes goodness? Check out these tried and true favorites!
- The classic combination, tomato mozzarella salad is the tangy, creamy marriage of choice! Swap the chevre for mozzarella to get this variation.
- Want a healthy fats twist? Avocado tomato salad brings a layer of creaminess without the dairy of cheese — just add chunks of avocado!
- Sweetness meets tartness with corn and tomato salad — sprinkle your finished salad with corn or add it into the marinade!
- Throw in even more crunch with cucumber tomato onion salad to get extra flavor dimensions and extra YUM!
Marinated Tomato Salad
- 4 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut Into 1/2 inch wedges
- 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon (or to taste) salt- divided
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1/2 cup Chevre crumbled
- In a medium bowl, sprinkle tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt and gently mix. Transfer tomatoes to a baking sheet lied with three layers of paper towels. Allow tomatoes to drain for 15 minutes. Flip tomatoes and continue to drain another 15 minutes.
- Place drained tomatoes to a medium bowl. Add arugula, basil, oil, vinegar, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, Very gently, toss until seasoning is evenly distributed. Allow salad to marinate for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning is needed. Sprinkle salad with cheese and serve.
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Summer means vegetable salad recipes — here are my faves!
- Cherry Tomato Salad – Sweetness in every bite!
- Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad – Crunch meets crunch meets tart in this delicious trifecta
- Caprese Salad – The classic appetizer can be a side dish too!
- Carrot Salad – Bright and beautiful but a different summertime veggie!
- Creamy Cucumber Salad – Bring on the satisfying mmmm!
Next time your barbecue heats up, reach for this marinated tomato salad recipe to balance out your rich, savory meats and your creamy sides! It’s the best way to celebrate all of summer’s bright flavors.
What did you serve this salad with? Let me know in the comments!
Source: Slightly Adapted from Cook’s County