It doesn't get any simpler than a tomato salad.
As much as France is renowned for its gourmet dishes, it is equally known for simple, rustic fare, made with seasonal ingredients.
Nearly everyone in the countryside grows their own tomatoes!
This salad makes the tomatoes the star of the show - perfect if you grow your own or make the most of the local farmers' markets.
Red onions for sweetness, a splash of vinegar, really good olive oil and a touch of basil keep this easy and tasty.
Of course, if you want to have a change, there are plenty of variations to try too.
There are a huge variety of tomatoes to buy in the supermarkets and farmers' markets, that I am often spoilt for choice.
Of course, with rising prices, many people are growing their own fruits and vegetables and they always seem to smell and taste amazing when you pick them off the vine.
This simple French tomato salad is quick and easy and perfect for summer eating.
Just a few ingredients from the cupboard, a quick slice and it's ready!
Why you will love this recipe
- Ready in 10 minutes
- Great for barbecues
- Simple ingredients
- Tomatoes - larger tomatoes work best for this dish. I've used tomatoes ripened on the vine for the best flavour.
- Onion - medium red onion for colour and sweetness.
- Oil - extra virgin olive oil for flavour.
- Vinegar - white wine or red wine vinegar.
- Sugar - granulated sugar to enhance the weetness of the tomatoes.
- Salt -flaked sea salt for flavour.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
- Basil - fresh basil leaves.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
Peel the onion and remove the ends.
Slice quite thinly into rings and split into individual rings.
Slice the tomatoes into half centimetre slices and discard the end with the core.
Arrange the tomatoes on a plate, slightly overlapping.
Sprinkle over the sugar, salt and pepper.
Mix the oil and vinegar together and drizzle over the tomato and onion salad.
Strip the basil leaves off the stem and lay them on top of one another.
Roll them up finely and chop so that you get fine ribbons of basil. This is known as a chiffonade.
Leave the salad for 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to develop.
💭 Top Tip
- Tomatoes have their best flavour at room temperature so eat this salad immediately or store covered at room temperature if you are preparing other ingredients.
- As soon as you add the salt, the tomatoes will start to produce liquid as the salt draws it out. If you prefer, prepare the salad and add the salt and pepper just before serving.
🥗 Serve with
This tomato and onion salad is great all year round but it is particularly good with grilled and fried meat and seafood.
- Monkfish with Chorizo
- Venison Burgers
- Lamb with Pomegranate Molasses
- Salmon Meunière
- Cod Mornay with Prawns
- Pinchos de Pollo
- Chicken Philadelphia
- Vietnamese Grilled Chicken
- Onion - use a sweet white onion if you can't get a red onion.
Slice the tomatoes and add these toppings.
- Finely chppped shallots or sliced spring onion (scallions).
- Hollandaise or Bearnaise sauce.
- A few anchovies.
- Mustard vinaigrette.
- Balsamic vinegar.
- Fresh sprigs of thyme or oregano.
- Refrigerator - store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Keep in view that the tomatoes will lose their firmness the longer they are left to sit.
- Freezer - not suitable for freezing.
Regular olive oil is generally used for cooking and is normally referred to a refined olive oil.
Virgin olive oil is unrefined olive oil. It can be used for cooking at low temperatures and also in salad dressings.
Extra virgin olive oil is known as EVOO, and is formed from the first press of a batch of olives. In this way it retains the most flavour, aroma and nutritional value possible. Due to the production process it is the most expensive oil and is used for salad dressings.
As the oil is being used for flavour it's important to keep the oil in a cool place away from sunlight.
More salads and side dishes to try
These are some of my favourite summer salads.
Tomato and Onion Salad
- chopping board
- sharp knife
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 3 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon basil
- ½ teaspoon salt flaked sea
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Peel the onion and remove the ends. Slice thinly into rings and split into individual rings.
- Slice the tomatoes into half centimetre slices and discard the end with the core.
- Arrange the tomatoes on a plate, slightly overlapping.
- Sprinkle over the sugar, salt and pepper.
- Mix the oil and vinegar together and drizzle over the tomato
- Roll the basil leaves finely and chop so that you get fine ribbons of basil.
- Scatter the basil over the top.
- Leave the salad for 10 minutes before serving
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
More salad recipes
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I love to read them and answer your questions. However, due to spam comments, I do have to moderate each one, so don't worry if you cannot see your comment immediately. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can.