There’s only one season when it’s worth making tomato salads, and that season is right now. While tomatoes often serve as the star of other dishes like pastas, tarts and egg dishes, we think the juicy summer fruits are at their best when you don’t do much to them at all.
Don’t believe us? See for yourself by making one of these five salads, all of which highlight the glorious peak-season tomato at its purest state.
|Grill-Roasted Tomatoes Topped with Cheese and Herbs
Think of this dish—heirloom tomatoes, basil leaves and warm mozzarella made oozy on the grill—as a caprese salad 2.0. Once you’ve followed the recipe once, try mixing things up with different cheeses and herbs, like feta and fresh oregano or grated Jack and cilantro.
|Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber and Celery Salad
Here, Armenian cucumbers, celery hearts, anchovies and dried oregano create an intriguing (and dairy-free) flavor profile for a tomato salad. The integrity of the ingredients—especially the tomatoes—is everything, so make sure you get your hands on the ripest, juiciest heirloom beefsteak tomatoes you can find.
|Farmers’ Market Salad with Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette
Spiralizers are all-too-often overlooked when it comes to salads, but the long, vermicelli-like strands they create add dimension to otherwise ordinary salads. To enhance the tomato-basil vinaigrette in this farmers’ market salad, garnish the plate with crispy garlic chips.
|Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Pesto
When you’re looking to use up leftover pesto in your fridge, this side salad (which can be made into a main course with the addition of grilled meat and cooled grains) is an easy go-to.
|Bread Salad with Charred Tomatoes, Cucumber & Olives
Panzanella, or Tuscan bread salad, is a fantastic way to make the most of sweet tomatoes; the day-old bread absorbs all of the tomato’s flavorful juices. In this version, kalamata olives offer a pungent, bitter and salty quality to foil smoky-sweet charred tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and crusty bread cubes.
Find more tips and recipes in our tomato guide, and get all of our pointers for selecting, preparing and cooking with tomatoes.