Saturday, August 03, 2013

Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil Vinaigrette, and Fresh Herbs

Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil Vinaigrette, and Fresh Herbs
Nothing says summer like this Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil Vinaigrette, and Fresh Herbs!

(Updated with new photos and step-by-step directions, August 2013)  This Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil Vinaigrette, and Fresh Herbs is something that's been appearing on my table for as many summers as I can  remember, and as long as you have fresh tomatoes and goat cheese, there are several ways I've found to enjoy this salad. If you don't have fresh basil, I've even used store-bought basil pesto with vinaigrette dressing to make the basil vinaigrette, and the salad was still amazing. Of course, fresh basil and fresh herbs sprinkled on top will make the salad even better!

Since I've been making this salad for years, I've noticed many people think I'm talking about Feta cheese when they hear goat cheese. Although certainly Feta would taste good here, I think the creamy goat's milk cheese that comes in a log is so fabulous with the basil vinaigrette. In the U.S., Montrachet and Chevre are two brands that are widely available. Goat cheese is probably an acquired taste, but I've converted quite a few people to it by making this salad for them, so give it a try if you've never had this type of cheese.
If you check the recipe there are several ways to make a flavorful basil vinaigrette, but this time I combined fresh chopped basil with Le Parisien Vinaigrette.  (If you're not in Utah, I recently found a place to order Le Parisien Vinaigrette online.  I have no affiliation with this company; I'm just offering that link because many people have asked me where they can get this dressing.)

Slice or quarter juicy fresh tomatoes.  (I've made this salad with every type or color of fresh garden tomato you can imagine, and all were good.)

Finely chop fresh herbs of your choice and crumble goat cheese.

Then arrange the tomatoes on a plate, drizzle the basil vinaigrette over, and sprinkle with the goat cheese and finely chopped herbs.  Could not be easier!

Tomatoes with Goat Cheese
And here's an earlier photo of this salad from 2008, definitely not bad for those days!


Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil Vinaigrette, and Fresh Herbs
(A summer tomato salad recipe Kalyn has been adapting for many years. Only make this when you have fresh flavorful tomatoes, everything else can be adapted with what you have on hand.)

Per serving, adjust for how many servings you're making:
2-3 thickly sliced tomatoes
1-2 T crumbled goat cheese (Chevre or Montrachet, the kind that comes in a log.)
1-2 T basil vinaigrette (see variations below)
1-2 tsp. chopped fresh herbs (use basil, Italian oregno, Greek oregano, marjoram, thyme, chives, or other fresh herbs of your choice)
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired

Basic salad instructions:
Slice tomatoes in thick slices, half-moon slices, or even large diced pieces if using small tomatoes. Arrange tomatoes on seving dish. Drizzle tomatoes with basil vinaigrette, then sprinkle goat cheese and chopped herbs over. (Leave the cheese in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it, or it will get too soft and be hard to crumble.) You can season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired, but I find this is one of the few ways to serve tomatoes that doesn't really need salt.

Basil Vinaigrette Variations:
1) Combine finely chopped basil and your favorite Vinaigrette or Italian dressing in a jar and shake. If you can do this an hour or so beforehand it will let the flavors blend, but it's not essential.
2) Combine chopped basil and olive oil to make basil puree, then mix pureed basil with your favorite vinaigrette or Italian dressing. (More about Basil Vinaigrette with basil puree.)
3) If you're a gardener who has frozen basil in the freezer, the frozen basil mixed with your favorite vinaigrette or Italian dressing is an easy way to make basil vinaigrette.
4) If you don't have any fresh or frozen basil, purchased basil pesto mixed with your favorite vinaigrette or Italian dressing will also make a delicious basil vinaigrette.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
If you're making this salad for the South Beach Diet, or another Low-Glycemic eating plan, be sure to use a salad dressing with only 2 grams of sugar or less. I would also be sure to use a minimal amount of goat cheese if you're on phase one or two of South Beach, but even a small amount of goat cheese adds a lot of flavor here.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

More Delicious Ways to Use Basil Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen:
Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette
Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm, Olives, and Feta with Basil Vinaigrette
Lightly Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette
Whole Wheat Spaghetti Salad with Italian Sausage, Tomatoes, Olives, and Basil Vinaigrette
Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Other Bloggers Who Love Basil Vinaigrette:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be low-glycemic or South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Caprese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette ~ Steamy Kitchen
Strawberry and Goat Cheese Green Salad with Basil Vinaigrette ~ Cookin' Canuck
Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette ~ The Perfect Pantry
Italian Salad and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette ~ Eclectic Recipes
Orzo Salad with Roasted Tomatoes, Basil Vinaigrette, and Ricotta Salata ~ More Than Burnt Toast
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) 

Blogger Disclosure: Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

26 comments:

  1. Tomatoes and basil. Two of the best things in life. Seriously.

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  2. Since I don't like goat cheese, I just tried this with the fresh mozarella cheese logs from Costco and it is fabulous!
    Thanks!
    Wanda.

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  3. The two comments above from my brother Rand and my fabulous friend Wanda are from the summer of 2005 when I first talked about this salad! I've probably made it hundreds of times since then.

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  4. I can't wait for some local grown fresh tomatoes!

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  5. what a wonderful salad. It looks very special. Just the type of salad that I like. Thanks for linking to my salad too.

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  6. So simple and oh so very good Kalyn! And so perfect with all the basil in my back yard!

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  7. I love the sound of this salad!

    Paz

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  8. Goat cheese, tomatoes, basil...yep, everything I love!

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  9. With apologies to Rand, it really doesn't get any better than basil and goat cheese.

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  10. I love goat cheese but hubby is not a fan so I seldom buy it.

    Maybe this salad can convert him.

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  11. Yum! Goat cheese is something I can never get enough of, though I am also partial to feta. A perfect summer salad this is.

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  12. I agree with rand - tomato and basil are the best! And this salad is a great idea and twist from the caprese salad!

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  13. For a goat cheese addict like me, Kalyn, this is just irresistible.

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  14. This looks like a perfect light dinner/side to have in hot weather...kind of like we're having in NYC right now!

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  15. This is beautiful, Karyn. Will be having this for lunch some sunny summer's day.

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  16. Yum! I am making this tonight. (Hint...if you put the chevre into the freezer for about 15 minutes, it crumbles more easily :-)

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  17. No wonder it keeps appearing, it's tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese. Oh, my.

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  18. Too funny-- this is somehwat like my post today--I am always looking for great, easy, fresh ideas to use for my homegrown tomatoes and basil, and I will definitely try this this week! I also love goatcheese mixed with a little balsamic on crackers!!

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  19. Looks so fresh and delicious! Love all of that color. Any ideas for a homemade sub to storebought salad dressing? Oil and vinegar with some herb-age, perhaps?

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  20. Yikes, I am so bad at responding to comments sometimes. Life just gets too busy, but I do read and appreciate them all.

    Lauren, any vinaigrette type dressing you like the taste of will work here, either store-bought or homemade.

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  21. I have been making this at least once a week all summer. Sooooo good! When I can't get local ripe tomatoes I have been substituting halved grape tomatoes (Cherubs from Costco). Just can't get enough! And finally a good use for my fresh oregano...

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  22. Pam, so happy to hear you've been enjoying it so much. And I also make it with tomatoes from Costco when I don't have enough from my garden!

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  23. Perfect! We had one huge brandywine tomato and it was perfect for the 2 of us. Simply delish. Thanks for the idea.

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  24. Anonymous, so glad you liked it!

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  25. I made this salad last night as I had some left over Basil Viniagrette, and it was utterly fantastic.

    Thank you so very much for this recipe Kalyn!

    - Taylor

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