Our tomatoes are slowly starting to ripen in the garden. I love being able to walk out my door to pick tomatoes and cucumbers straight off the vine for salads in the summer. It’s one of those very special , simple pleasures of having a garden. The smaller tomatoes are ripening first, I decided to use them to make two delicious Summer Tomato Salads. Both salads have a Vinaigrette dressing , one with the addition of Dill and the other a pretty basic Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe.
For the first Summer Tomato Salad I used tomato, onion, cucumbers, green olives and cubed Mozzarella Cheese. The Vinaigrette for this salad is made with Dill. It has a wonderful light cool taste to it, just what we need in the summer heat! Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, tomatoes and cucumbers should be very affordable in stores and your farmers market this time of year. If you’re not a fan of green olives , try it using black olives. You could also switch the Mozzarella out for Cheddar Cheese or the cheese you have on hand. Affordability and versatility go hand in hand with this delicious side dish.
The flavor in this Summer Tomato Salad is amazing! Fresh Basil, ripe tomatoes and toasted garlic bread make up it’s ingredients.
Since there are only 3 ingredients in this salad , not counting the dressing, you want each one to be spot on fresh and full of flavor. I have a little bread “cheat” I use in this salad. I also use it to make fantastic sandwiches. Something as simple as grilled cheese gets kicked up to AMAZING using it. My husband brought this bread home from Walmart’s Bakery, it’s called The Everything Bread. The top is loaded with spices and it’s chocked full of flavor. It kicks this Summer Tomato Salad up to WOW!! You can of coarse make your own garlic bread or use a store bought favorite of your own. Fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic bread topped with a balsamic vinaigrette , summer’s best. Let’s enjoy it while we can!
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Tomato Salad with Dill Vinaigrette
2 medium ripe tomatoes , cut into wedges
1 medium cucumber, peeled, sliced thin
1 small onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup green olives, salad olives or whole
About 1 cup cubed Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Fresh Dill Weed, (if using dried Dill Weed use 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Place all the vegetables plus the olives in a large bowl, toss gently to combine. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients into a medium bow, whisk to combine, pour over vegetables, toss gently to combine. Add the cheese to the mix right before serving. Use a bottled dressing if you don’t care to make your own.
Tomato – Basil Salad with Garlic Bread and Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 slices Italian bread
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or fresh garlic chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the melted butter and chopped garlic in a bowl, mix to combine. Brush both sides of Italian bread with butter/garlic mixture. Place on a baking sheet and broil until bread is golden brown. If using an already seasoned Italian bread, brush with plain butter and broil till golden brown. Gently tear bread into bite size pieces.
In a medium bowl ,whisk all Vinaigrette ingredients together until well combined. Place tomatoes , basil and torn bread on serving plates , drizzle dressing over salad. Serve immediately.
Use a bottled dressing if you don’t care to make your own.