summer tomato salad with tangled herbs

summer tomato salad with tangled herbs |

I spent the majority of the afternoon slicing red onions.

The plan was to caramelize them, but the late summer heat crept in so fast I didn’t know what to wipe away first; the tears streaming down my face or my forehead.

And then the phone rang.

It was my dad, inviting us to the beach.

At that moment, I realized caramelized anything in 800 degree weather sounded just as exciting as filing taxes.

So, I grabbed a few juicy tomatoes and made this salad to enjoy by the waves.

summer tomato salad with tangled herbs | theclevercarrot.comsummer tomato salad with tangled herbs | theclevercarrot.comsummer tomato salad with tangled herbs |

Here’s how I made it:

After slicing the onions, they were quickly submerged in red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt to take the raw edge off. I do this often; it’s like a ‘quick pickle.’

Then, I cut the tomatoes into thick wedges and threw them into a bowl. I can’t even describe the glorious feeling of fresh tomato juice dripping down your fingers while you chop. Tomato season is like Christmas. These beauties came from the farm.

To finish, fresh basil and mint were thinly sliced and sprinkled over the tomatoes. I added a few of the pickled onions, and some dried oregano for depth of flavor.

The dried oregano by the way, was a gift from my neighbor.

Mr. Wolfie gave us three hefty bunches which he grew and dried himself.

The first bunch was dried in his basement. The second was dried in his attic. And the third bunch was dried outside in the backyard. Story has it, each one exhibits a slightly different flavor profile depending on how and where they are dried (apparently, the Italians down the street say the Americans spray too much chemicals on their lawn so bunch 1 & 2 are the way to go).

Huh. Who knew?

The tomato salad was generously seasoned with salt, drizzled with olive oil and chilled before my dad came to pick us up.

summer tomato salad with tangled herbs | theclevercarrot.comsummer tomato salad with tangled herbs |

The puddle of juice that forms at the bottom of the bowl is the best part of this dish- grab some bread, people!

We ate this beachside with the sound of waves and seashells clamoring in the distance.

If you have yet to make a tomato salad this summer, this recipe is so tasty it needs nothing more than a fork (and possibly a beach towel).

summer tomato salad with tangled herbs
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • ¼ small red onion, shaved paper thin (use a mandolin, if you have one)
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • 4-5 large perfectly ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 handful fresh basil, cut into ribbons
  • 1 handful fresh mint, cut into ribbons
  • pinch of dried oregano
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • coarse salt, to taste
  1. To a small bowl, add the onions with a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let it sit while you prep the rest of the salad.
  2. Add the tomatoes to a large bowl. Sprinkle the shaved onions and herbs over the top- the exact amount is up to you. Feel free to add more or less.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil to coat, and season with salt.
  4. Toss gently, being careful not to squash the tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning again if necessary.
  5. Chill until ready to serve, up to 1 our.



    • Emilie says

      Welcome Mary! isn’t it the best? I live for fresh herbs in the summer. In fact, when it gets really, really hot my back patios area smells like rosemary and mint. And yes- all ingredients can be sourced from any type of garden. Cheers to sun and soil!

  1. Megan S. says

    Living in a land-locked state just isn’t as good in the summer–no beach! But I can do the salad without hours of driving. :-)

    • Emilie says

      I hear you! I actually went to college in Arizona and I went into geographical shock not being near the water (we live 15 inures away from the beach here!). But the food was good so things turned around quickly for me ;)

    • Emilie says

      Hi Cath! Thank you! Are you looking for a dinner party menu here on the blog? Or for personal entertaining? x

  2. says

    What a fuuuun time at the beach, Emilie! Simple pleasures such as these gorgeous tomatoes, make experiences like this feel so luxurious. Fresh tomatoes from the farm with oregano from your neighbor is the sweetest way to enjoy Summer’s gifts. Seeing your joy in this post made me smile :D

  3. says

    I think the beach was FOR SURE a better idea than caramelizing. Also – I had no idea that the location in which you dried herbs influenced the flavor profiles. I kinda feel like I need to do that experiment now! And this beautiful salad looks so perfect for the tomatoes my mom just brought by from her garden! xo!

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