Marinated Tomato Salad with Basil and Balsamic is as pretty as it is delicious. Fresh, sweet tomatoes are marinated to perfection in the classic flavors of garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh basil. Make this as a side dish with grilled meats, or serve it as a light main dish over spring greens. It’s also amazing with a little feta cheese on top!
I saw these beautiful little tomatoes at the grocery store and I just had to buy them. I’ve found that the smaller tomatoes usually have much better flavor, as in, they actually taste like tomatoes, and these ones looked especially good. If you grow your own tomatoes the bigger varieties will work here too. Also, I’m very jealous of your home grown tomatoes, and I’d like you to share. I’ve never been able to grow tomatoes in this desert climate I live in. I know other people who grow them here, but my thumb is only green enough to keep cactus (cactuses? cacti?) alive.
I wanted to make an easy salad with the pretty little tomatoes, but didn’t want to cover up their flavor. This marinated tomato salad with balsamic and basil does just that, adds loads of flavor and also enhances the tomatoes without overwhelming them. Balsamic and basil are a classic combination with tomatoes, and when you add a little garlic, a little shallot and finish with some feta cheese you’ll be in tomato heaven.
The tomatoes are the star of the dish, but they wouldn’t be anything without the support of the fresh basil, shallot, garlic and balsamic vinegar. The feta cheese is optional for the salad, but it is really good here.
To prepare the salad, you’ll chop your ingredients, then mix together a simple marinade and toss everything together. It all comes together really quickly!
Depending on their size, quarter or halve the tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Then you’ll slice the shallot and chop the garlic and basil. To make chopping the basil really easy, use the julienne technique. Take the big basil leaves and stack them up, then put the smaller leaves on top. Roll all the leaves up together like a cigar, then slice the basil into thin strips. It’s a really fast way to chop any larger leaved herb or lettuce!
As I mentioned in the recipe for Mediterranean quinoa salad with chickpeas, I like to buy feta cheese in a block, and then cut it into big chunks. Sometimes the pre-crumbled feta is so small that it kind of disappears into the dish.
Once you’ve prepped everything, you’ll mix up a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Now just toss it all together!
You’ll be eating this marinated tomato salad with balsamic and basil all spring and summer long! It’s fresh with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the herby basil, and a little tart from the balsamic. The garlic and shallot round all the flavors out, and topping it with feta adds a delicious creaminess.
Try it the next time you grill chicken, or grill anything for that matter. Make a bowl with some spring greens and sprinkle on some feta to complete your meal!
Marinated Tomato Salad with Basil and Balsamic
- Yield: 6-8
- 3 cups of cherubs/cherry or other small tomatoes, halved
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup feta, diced large
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, shallot and basil.
- In a small bowl or dressing shaker, mix together all of the dressing ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the tomato mixture and mix well. Let marinate at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, or refrigerate for a few hours.
- Before serving, top with the feta cheese. Dig in!