Italian Tomato Salad Recipe

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Fresh Italian tomato salad “ insalata di pomodori “ with red onion, herbs and capers. Fresh oregano, dill, chives or basil are just the perfect compliment to the sweet and fragrant heirloom tomatoes and zesty salad dressing.

Italian Tomato Salad

There’s nothing as easy and simple as making a pomodoro salad. Choosing the right tomatoes is a different  story and it is what will make or break a salad. So stay away from watery half ripened out of season tomatoes and wait to make this until the heirloom tomatoes hit the farmers market.

Choosing the Tomatoes

Go for heavy irregular shaped heirlooms that are heavy for their size, they are a real treat for the tastebuds. You can mix a variety of colors if you like, for this particular recipe I wanted to stick with the classic red “ox heart variety” or “cuore di bue” in Italian.
Try and stay away from the plum shaped variety like San Marzano that are best used to make a divine Marinara sauce.

What’s special about heirloom tomatoes?

  • Heirlooms are grown from seeds passed down from generation to generation and are at least 50 years old. They are always open pollinated meaning they rely on the wind and insects to naturally pollinate them.
  • Non-GMO and grown on a small scale heirlooms produce way better flavor than commercially grown hybrids, therefore being ideal for use in classic dishes like this salad. Usually irregular in shape, size and color, the seeds have been saved by growers from what they considered be the best plants then passed down to the next generation.

About the Onion

A sweet crunchy red onion or Italian purple spring onions are ideal. Scallions work great as well and so do the sweet Maui onion or Vidalia variety which lend the salad a milder flavor. Try and stay away from the sharp white onions if at all possible, unless of course you happen to prefer those.

Making Italian Tomato Salad Dressing

  • Keep it simple – Classic red wine vinegar and a drizzle of good cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is all that’s needed here. Remember, it’s about the perfection of tomatoes and all those juices will be a major component of the dressing.
  • Make it oil-free – Replace the olive oil in the recipe with a juicy heirloom tomato blended until smooth with the vinegar and a couple of fresh basil leaves.
  • Variation – The classic vinegar used in Italian tomato salads is always red wine vinegar. Of course you can get creative and experiment with white wine, apple cider vinegar and even balsamic.

Salad Maceration Period

Allowing the tomato salad to sit for a few minutes and macerate in the dressing really brings out the individual flavors of its ingredients. This is an important step!

About the Salt

Normally I do not encourage the consumption of salt at all. However when making tomato salad a little pinch of Flour de Sel flakes or a little coarse pink salt takes it to perfection by bringing out the natural tomato juices. The Italian word “Insalata” itself means Salted!

Add Ins Ideas

How to Make Italian Tomato Salad

P.S. If you make this recipe please come back here to rate it, snap a photo and tag me with #VeggieSociety on Instagram, it always makes my day seeing what you recreated from the blog ~ Florentina Xo’s
Italian Tomato Salad
5 from 1 vote

Italian Tomato Onion Salad

Fresh Italian tomato salad “ insalata di pomodori “ with red onion, herbs and caper in a red wine vinegar dressing.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:0 minutes
Maceration period:5 minutes
Total Time:15 minutes


WFPB Oil-Free Dressing:


  • Using a very sharp knife slice the tomatoes into small wedges and add them to a serving bowl with the capers.
  • Slice the purple onion into thin strips or rounds and sprinkle on top of the tomatoes. Add the fresh oregano, dill, chives and basil.
  • Drizzle the salad with the olive oil and red wine vinegar.
  • Season with the Fleur the Sel sea salt and gently toss to coat. Allow to macerate at room temperature for 5minutes.
  • Garnish with the chive blossoms and serve promptly with a few extra flakes of Fleur de Sel on top to your taste.
  • OPTIONAL: Add vegan feta cheese on top if you desire, I love the one from Follow Your Heart or you can make your own.

Make the Oil-Free Dressing:

  • Peel the tomato and blend together with the vinegar until smooth. Add a little water if you need to stretch it out then season to taste with sea salt.


If you plan to swap the fresh oregano in the recipe for dry you must be very mindful. The flavor is more intense and can easily overpower the rest of the herbs and tomatoes and greatly alter the taste of your salad.


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 704mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2555IU | Vitamin C: 41.7mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian Tomato Salad
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 133kcal
Author: Florentina

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One Comment

  1. Favorite way to use up all my tomatoes . Nothing beats a big bowl of homegrown tomatoes, onions and herbs. I just learned about the red wine vinegar in Italian vinaigrette and I must say I love it better than all other vinegars that are more acidic. A Perfect salad everyone should know how to make!

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