heirloom tomatoes

Summer Tomato Salad

Summer is the season of plenty - and it's tomato season! The farmers' markets are overflowing with fresh, juicy, and sweet tomatoes. There's nothing better than a plate of delicious tomato salad to satisfy your hunger. This tomato salad recipe is one of the perfect summer salads. In fact, this tomato salad is one of my favorite summer salads!

platter of fresh-picked heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

If you enjoy a summer salad as much as we do, you will love this good tomato salad recipe. For this salad recipe, we prefer heirloom tomatoes - plus, they go great with the olive oil dressing. However, feel free to create a tomato mixture with different garden tomatoes, such as cherry or grape tomatoes! As long as you have juicy tomatoes, it is difficult for this salad recipe to go wrong.

With the variety of heirloom tomatoes available, this easy tomato salad recipe is a colorful and flavorful delight. In this blog post, we'll cover the ingredients, the dressing, accommodating for different preferences, and what goes best with tomatoes.

Colorful, Flavorful and Satisfying

overhead view of a variety of tomatoes

Summer tomatoes are so different from the ones you buy in the offseason. They're juicy, sweet, and flavorful, and heirloom varieties are so colorful.

The honey in the salad dressing brings out more of the sweetness of the tomatoes, especially if they're more acidic. Some varieties of heirloom tomatoes, like Green Zebra, have a bit of a bite to them, so the honey helps to mellow them out. The flavor mix between the honey and freshly ground black pepper also gives this salad a unique, delicious taste.

Using a few large tomatoes in your salad is one option. If you can only find cherry (or pear, or grape, or whatever you know them as) tomatoes on the market, they'll work just as well! Instead of using 4 or 5 larger fruits, get a quart of small plants and halve them for this salad. You can also add in onion, peppers, or a diced avocado to give this salad a twist.

Come to think of it; our tomato salad recipe would be great in top of crusty bread, served as a bruschetta. If you want to do this, just cut the tomatoes into bite sized wedges so they fit onto smaller slices of bread.

How to Make Tomato Salad

It doesn't take much to make this simple tomato salad recipe. With only a couple ingredients, you'll be making this refreshing salad in no time! All you need is:

  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Lemon juice
  • Bee Inspired Honey
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
platter of sliced heirloom tomatoes outside

Feel free to pick your favorite kinds of the ingredients listed above for your salad. Personally, we use extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper for this tomato salad recipe.

Tomato Salad Recipe

Not only does this perfect summer salad have a short grocery list, it also only takes about 10 minutes to throw together - making it a simple salad as well. Just grab a salad bowl and follow these instructions:

  1. Wash and dry the tomatoes. Quarter and cut the tomatoes into medium-sized chunks or tomato wedges.
  2. Blend together the olive oil, feta crumbles, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper, and chopped fresh basil.
  3. Pour the oil mixture overtop of the tomatoes, and mix it all together in a large bowl.
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the tomato salad for a few hours - don't serve immediately! Let the tomatoes marinate and soak in all the flavors for the perfect tomato salad.
sliced heirloom tomatoes on platter

Mix Up Your Summer Tomato Salad

We always encourage you to play with our recipes and make them your own. This tomato salad recipe only features a handful of required ingredients, so you have lots of room to play and create your own tomato salad recipe variations:

  • Swap the feta cheese for fresh mozzarella balls and the dressing for a balsamic glaze to create a classic caprese salad.
  • Try shaved parmesan on top in addition to the feta.
  • Blend in lime juice and other fresh herbs with the fresh basil, like cilantro.
  • Add some heat with thin-sliced jalapeño peppers.
  • Add different toppings to your tomato salad, such as grilled chicken, pine nuts, kalamata olives, green onions, and thinly sliced cucumber.
  • For a more savory taste, mix vinegar and olive oil for the tomato salad dressing. Also play around with the salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Try adding different kinds of ripe tomatoes, such as grape or cherry tomatoes.
  • Try some pickled onions or pickled beets with this tomato salad recipe.
pickled onions in a glass jar

What goes best with tomatoes?

When you realize how effortless this easy pickled onions recipe is to make, you will want to make them once a week and have them on-hand for every kind of salad. You can use a crisp red onion or sweet onion. I even get the little Cipollini onions when I can and pickle those for cocktail hour. When you review the ingredient list, you'll see that it was hardly worth making a list! Plus, they taste especially amazing with our tomato salad.

kara enjoying an aperol spritzer after making tomatoe salad

Celebrate the bountiful summer season with plump, mouthwatering tomatoes straight from the garden to your salad!

Our home is filled with a vibrant assortment of ripe tomatoes in all shapes and colors, just waiting to be transformed into the most delectable dishes. Whether you're craving zesty summer salsa, rich pasta sauce, or a simple yet satisfying sandwich or salad topping, these tomatoes are the star of the show. But let's not forget one of the most delightful ways to enjoy these juicy fruits - a refreshing tomato salad with a touch of honey. 

Summer Tomato jelly jar candle burning next to tomato plant

Tomato salad is a colorful and flavorful delight, perfect for any occasion. Using fresh and juicy ripe tomatoes makes or breaks the tomato salad experience, and heirloom varieties add an additional level of depth to the salad. If you have a green thumb, try growing your own tomato plants right in your backyard! You could even grow your own fresh herbs and fresh basil so that all of your ingredients are right at home.

Tomato Salad is the Perfect Summer Salad

Accommodate for different preferences by including ingredients like onions, peppers, or diced avocado. Swap out the feta cheese for fresh mozzarella balls, shaved parmesan, or whichever is your favorite.

To add variation to the dish, serve it on top of bread, add in lime juice and other fresh herbs, thin-sliced jalapeño peppers, or try pickled onions or pickled beets. Add or sway to cherry tomatoes, or turn it in to a caprese salad if you desire.

 When it comes to pairing a side dish with this tomato salad, pickled onions are a must-try. They're easy to make, delicious, and can elevate any salad. You can also pair this summer salad with a refreshing, crisp white wine to balance out the olive oil dressing. Head to your local farmers' market today, grab some fresh tomatoes, and get ready to indulge in this delightful tomato salad this summer. 

If you are looking to bring the fresh-picked aroma of summer tomatoes in your home year-round, try one of our delightful summer tomato jelly jar candles in the kitchen.

If you decide to make the best tomato salad (our fresh tomato salad!) with honey, post a picture and use the hashtag #beeinspired on Instagram. We love seeing your photos!

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Kara holding a hive frame in doorway of cabin

About the Author

Kara waxes about the bees, creates and tests recipes with her friend Joyce, and does her best to share what she’s learning about the bees, honey, ingredients we use and more. Read more about Kara