Heirloom Tomato Salad

Last year during deepest, darkest lockdown I ordered a box of heirloom tomatoes from The Tomato Stall on the Isle of Wight. A far cry from the refrigerated packs of tomatoes available at the supermarket, these have so much flavour and taste of summer. What a revelation. We ate tomatoes in everything for almost an entire fortnight. By far my favourite use for them is a salad like this, for what better way to appreciate their beauty and flavour than a dish with almost nothing else in it.

So when we recently travelled to the Isle of Wight for a week’s eagerly anticipated holiday, I was very keen to get my hands on a supply of these beautiful fruits. This salad featured regularly on our holiday table.

It’s not even really a recipe, but rather a very strong suggestion of what to do with a bunch of beautiful heirloom tomatoes, should you be lucky enough to find some (or even better, grow your own).


1 handful heirloom tomatoes, per person (a mixture of sizes, colours and shapes is good)

Flaked sea salt (such as Maldon)

Freshly ground black pepper

Good quality extra virgin olive oil

Good quality syrupy balsamic vinegar

Few leaves of basil, finely sliced


Wash the tomatoes and cut into pieces. Large beefsteak tomatoes can be thinly sliced; cherry tomatoes can be halved; medium-sized tomatoes can be cut into wedges. A mixture of shapes and sizes is ideal.

Sprinkle over a generous pinch of salt and grinding of pepper. Drizzle over some olive oil and a scant drizzle of balsamic. Sprinkle with the sliced basil leaves.

Serve within an hour or so, with lots of crusty bread to mop up the juices. Lovely with a simple barbequed fish, like this one.

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