Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time



4 people

Heirloom varieties are fruits and vegetables that were once cultivated but fell out of favor with large-scale growers because the produce neither shipped nor stored well. Many of them have superior flavor, however, and small-scale farmers have reintroduced the best varieties to farmers markets and greengrocers. Available in a wealth of sizes, flavors and colors, including yellow, orange and zebra striped, heirloom tomatoes are one of the glories of summer. Vendors at farmers markets will often offer you a taste of each type before you make a choice.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Vegetable, by Marlena Spieler (Simon & Schuster, 2002).

Other summery fresh herbs can be used in place of the oregano: 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or rosemary, 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, or 2 to 3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil.


  • 6 to 8 very ripe heirloom tomatoes, in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors
  • 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 green onions, 1⁄4 red onion or 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, or to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • Sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar, to taste
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse country bread for serving


  • 1 Slice the tomatoes, capturing their juices in a bowl. Layer the tomatoes on a platter, sprinkling them with sugar, salt, green onions, garlic, oregano and the captured juices as you arrange them.
  • 2 Finish with a sprinkling each of balsamic vinegar and sherry vinegar, then drizzle with the olive oil.
  • 3 Let stand until ready to serve, or for up to 2 hours.
  • 4 Accompany with the bread for sopping up the juices.


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