Everyone needs a go-to sliced tomato salad recipe, especially in the summer.
Once you have the best and freshest tomatoes you can find—ones that are plump, red and juicy, but not too soft and ones that have never been refrigerated (ever)—you can pull my Sliced Tomato Salad Recipe with Basil and Pine Nuts together in just about 5 minutes.
I got the idea for this summery dish as a cleaner and healthier alternative to the classic tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil salad popular at fine authentic Italian restaurants. I admit, real buffalo mozzarella made from real buffalos and imported from Italy is impossible to recreate. However, if you are accustomed to eating the Americanized (and far less tasty) cow’s milk version of the classic tomato / mozzarella salad combo, then you will surely find my “Clean Cuisine” version unspeakably good.
Also, just so you know, my sliced tomato salad recipe is not intended to be a “low-fat” remake of the classic dish, which means it still has the same luxurious mouth-feel you would get from eating a sliced tomato salad made with cheese. The difference is that the full-fat mouth feel in my tomato salad come from pine nuts plus along with a drizzle of the very best olive oil you can find—two phytonutrient and antioxidant-rich plant foods that are “cleaner” in every way from anything you could ever get from a buffalo (or a cow, for that matter.)
It’s not that I never ever eat cheese, it’s just that I make it a point to not eat a lot. And, if it is at all reasonable to substitute the cheese for something equally as rich and tasty then by all means I do so. In this case, the basil and pine nut “crumble” (see recipe below) does the trick. Unless you are comparing my sliced tomato salad recipe head to head with a tomato salad made with real buffalo mozzarella, then I promise you will not miss the cheese.
Be Sure to Use REAL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Even if you are not making the classic and authentic Italian sliced tomato salad recipe you will still want to use the absolute best extra virgin olive oil you can find, which means it must be the real-deal. Anything less than real extra virgin will be a compromise in both taste and health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil is without a doubt the very best-tasting and healthiest type of olive oil you can buy because it comes from the first pressing of olives. Extra virgin olive oil has the highest antioxidant and phytonutrient profile because it has not been refined—or at least it is not supposed to be refined. But, as with all packaged foods these days, you cannot always rely on what the label claims….
If you have heard about Tom Mueller, the author of “Extra Virginity” and the world’s expert on olive oil and olive oil fraud, then you are aware of the rampant crime and deception that has been a part of olive oil making for hundreds of years. And one thing is for sure, getting superior quality extra virgin olive oil direct from Italy from a mass-market supplier is not very likely.
Finding true extra virgin olive oil is not as easy as you think. It is not exactly cheap either! However, there are a few superior quality extra virgin olive oils I have discovered that are produced right here in the good old USA. One of my favorites, California Olive Ranch, is superior for taste, quality and price. California Olive Ranch can be purchased at many natural foods stores nationwide or online at one of my favorite discount retailers, Vitacost.
Click the link below to find California Olive Ranch and other specialty discount gourmet food items on Vitacost.Print
- -2 large tomatoes (such as Beefsteak)
- -1/2 cup raw pine nuts
- -2 cloves garlic, peeled
- -1/3 cup loosely-packed chopped basil
- -Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- -Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a serving platter.
- Place the pine nuts, garlic cloves, basil and salt in mini food processor and process into a crumb-like mixture.
- Drizzle the tomatoes with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and spread the basil and pine nut “crumble” mixture on top of the tomatoes. Serve at room temperature.