Think of this salad as a tomato sandwich in a bowl. Bread, tomatoes, and oil are the stars, and you can improvise from there.
Plan for roughly one part toasted bread, one part tomatoes, any optional additions you want, and a vinaigrette. On this late summer day, I added sweet bell pepper, a bit of fresh basil, a few leaves of lettuce, small chunks of cheddar cheese, and some pumpkin seeds. Seeds or nuts add snap, but some people may prefer the texture of the buttery croutons and juicy tomatoes without any additional crunch.
Artisan bread is delicious in a tomato salad, but you can use what you have on hand. I usually use my favorite rye sandwich bread. Heirloom tomatoes work well because they are juicy, but cherry tomatoes, or a combination of tomatoes, work too.
You can toast the bread in the oven or toaster, but my preferred method is my Everyday Stovetop Croutons.
If you don’t have a vinaigrette on hand, I recommend mixing up my Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
3 cups tomatoes, chopped
3 slices of bread, toasted with butter
flaky salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
sweet bell peppers, thinly sliced
fresh basil, thinly sliced
salad greens, torn
pumpkin or sunflower seeds
nuts, lightly roasted
sharp cheddar cheese, small cubes
mozzarella cheese, small pieces
red onion, thinly sliced
Wash tomatoes and chop them into bite-sized pieces using a bread knife. Make soft toasted croutons using this recipe. Add additional ingredients if using. Drizzle with a vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Toss and serve immediately.