Here is an easy-going recipe for a simple tomato salad with anchovies, basil, olives and avocado. It’s a healthy and simple side-dish to share with friends and family or to bring to a picnic or barbecue. It is paleo and dairy-free and ready in only 10 minutes! close up photo of a simple tomato salad with anchovies on a white platter

A platter of garden fresh summer tomatoes, sliced and laden with toppings: basil, red onion, olive oil and anchovies, epitomizes the type of summer cooking my family enjoyed when I was a kid. It is recipes like this, that graced our table over and over, that are so internalized that I’ve overlooked them. Meaning, in my eyes, they don’t really require a recipe so I sometimes forget to share them. Like my pickled beets.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I have shared a couple tomato salads: there’s this one with a Thai basil vinaigrette or this one with green beans and goat cheese.

a table scape with rose, a platter of tomato salad and a blue and white cloth

But this one today, with anchovies, is the most common way we had tomato salad. Thick slices of tomatoes are the base. We always got ours (along with sweet corn and peppers) from Mrs. Slack’s farm stand. Then next a scattering of finely chopped red onion.

And fresh basil of course!  My mom always cut the basil with scissors. Do you do that?

Lots of pepper a little salt, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Then laying on top would go the olives and anchovies.

Yes anchovies.

a table scape with rose, a platter of tomato salad and a blue and white cloth

When I shot these photos, I sent a screen shot to my sister by text. And she declared “More Anchovies!” Ha, and here I was worried that you all would be thinking, yummy except for the anchovies. Maybe you are. But, you know what, my sister is right! {Don’t tell her I said that.} This is how we did it in our house, and that’s why I wanted to share this recipe. So, it’s totally fine if you don’t love anchovies! You can leave them off, or maybe you can make this recipe instead.

 

Note that the addition of avocado is not a tradition in my family, but it’s one I’ve added on over the last several years. Mainly because my older daughter is in love with avocados, and asks me to buy them every week. (She eats them with a spoon!) They add a creamy element, where a lot of folks would expect to have mozzarella.

a black plate with tomato salad on it

We never had mozzarella with our tomato salad when I was a kid- probably because you couldn’t get good Buffalo Mozzarella in The States back then. So I the avocado is a welcome creamy addition.

I like to splash on a bit of red wine vinegar too, this is something my mom always did and I love the bright acidity in contrast with the sweet tomatoes.

Don’t miss this Ultimate Guide to Tomatoes!

a gray farm table with a platter of tomato salad on it from overhead

More Easy Summer Recipes You’ll Love

If you make this recipe please come back and rate it and leave a review. I appreciate it so much! 

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a gray farm table with a platter of tomato salad on it from overhead

simple heirloom tomato salad

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: side salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Here is an easy-going recipe for a simple tomato salad with anchovies, basil, olives and avocado. It’s a healthy and simple side-dish to share with friends and family or to bring to a picnic or barbecue. It is paleo and dairy-free and ready in only 10 minutes!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds heirloom tomatoes
  • 8 whole anchovies, optional
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • ½ cup torn basil leaves
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons best quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • pinch each kosher salt and pepper
  • 12 olives, pitted if desired

Instructions

  1. Core and slice tomatoes and arrange on a large platter. Top with anchovies, avocado, basil and onion. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with olives and serve.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 107 cals
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 4g

Easy Tomato Salad on a black plate with text