This Tomato Basil Salad recipe is the perfect dish to celebrate a summer garden. In making this recipe you learn how to peel tomatoes and why sometimes it’s the small details like this that make a big difference in the results.
This salad is a simple blend of a few ingredients, and it’s an exquisite display of vibrant color.
What’s in this recipe?
- red onion
- goat cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt, pepper
Maybe you have the basil and tomatoes in your summer garden? If not, the Farmers Market is your best bet for deliciously sweet tomatoes.
I absolutely adore this tomato salad recipe. While the whole basil leaves add a wonderful boost of flavor, the tomatoes are the true stars of this salad.
How to Peel Tomatoes
Believe it or not (okay, believe it!), peeling tomatoes can change the whole vibe of a dish.
Let’s do it . . .
– Use a knife to cut out the core of the tomato, and then to cut an “X” on the bottom of the tomato.
– Next, add the tomato to boiling water, just for several seconds, until you see the skin begin to pull away from the “X.”
– Place the tomato in ice water to stop the cooking. From here, it’s easy to peel off the skin.
There are more details in the recipe below, but that’s pretty much the gist of how to peel tomatoes.
Do you have to peel the tomatoes?
Nope. Your call, but I love them this way in this particular recipe.
I’m thinking you should definitely make this tomato salad recipe over the weekend. Brunch, lunch, or dinner — it’ll be a hit. Go to your local farmers market and get the tomatoes while you can before this glorious summer tomato season winds down!
Generally, chefs pull herbs from their gardens before flowers sprout. Sometimes though, I leave them so I can see all their pretty flowers bloom. Especially these deep, rich, beautiful Thai basil flowers.
This Tomato Basil Salad is made using Thai basil leaves, though any good basil will do.
More recipes with garden tomatoes:
- Smoky Grilled Tomatoes
- Tomato Confit with Rosemary
- Garden Tomato Sauce
Tomato Basil Salad
Peel the Tomatoes
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and prepare a medium-sized bowl of ice water. Set the ice water next to the stove where you're working. Next, use a sharp paring knife to remove the tomato stem and root. Then use the same knife to mark an "X" on the bottom of each tomato, trying to only slit the skin and not really cut into the flesh of the tomato. Place them in the boiling water and leave them just until you see the skin begin to peel away from the "X" on the bottom. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes and place them directly into the ice water. (This "shocks" the tomatoes, stopping the cooking process, and helping them to maintain their bright color.) Once the tomatoes are cool, the skin can easily be peeled off the tomato, beginning at the X.
Make the Salad
- Cut the peeled tomatoes into bite-sized wedges and gently use your thumb to remove as many seeds as you easily can. Add the tomato wedges to a serving bowl and toss them with the basil leaves and onion slices.
- Just before serving combine the garlic with the vinegar and oil and toss this mixture into the salad. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top, and serve immediately!