This simple cherry tomato salad takes only five minutes to toss together, making it a super easy recipe for summer and early autumn. Celery complements the cherry tomatoes, giving the salad a nice crunch while bacon brings a punch of salt. Like other summer vegetable recipes, this recipe makes heavy use of ripe tomatoes and vibrant green herbs.
What’s in it?
Plump, ripe cherry tomatoes form the foundation of this salad. Building on that foundation, you add crunchy celery as well as dill, parsley, and green onions that complement the tomatoes and give the salad a little extra life.
Bacon brings a pleasant salty note to the salad and helps make it all the more satisfying while celery seed and nigella bring a deeply aromatic note. To this blend of cherry tomatoes, celery, and herbs, you’ll finish the salad off with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar as well as good sprinkling of salt.
Is it good for you?
This summer salad, packed with cherry tomatoes, celery, and herbs, tastes robust and vibrant with a touch of sweetness, salt, and just the right amount of acidity. But, there’s more to it than just good taste; rather, it’s also nourishing, too, with a blend of micronutrient-rich vegetables, healthy fats, and anti-inflammatory herbs like parsley, dill, nigella and celery seed.
- Tomatoes are rich in micronutrients including vitamin C and K, as well as the mineral potassium (1). They’re also a good source of various antioxidants that support cellular health (2).
- Celery, parsley, and dill also contain plant compounds that support health including fiber and polyphenols.
- Pasture-raised pork, such as bacon, is a source of vitamin D (3), a nutrient that supports bone, metabolic and reproductive health as well as immune system function (4).
- Nigella (black seed) is highly anti-inflammatory(5).
Tips for making the salad
While making a cherry tomato salad simple, and needs only about five minutes of active time in the kitchen, there are few tips to keep in mind to ensure it comes out great every time.
- Try Sungold tomatoes. Sungolds are an orange-colored cherry tomato with a robust sweet and acidic flavor. You’ll find them in summer at farmers’ markets, and they’re a great choice for this salad, but regular cherry or grape tomatoes work fine too.
- Precook the bacon. You’ll want to cook the bacon in advance and allow it to cool completely before you toss the salad, therefore preventing the salad from wilting. Baking it on a rack in the oven allows the fat to drain off and the bacon to cook evenly.
- Salt the salad and let it sit a few minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, and let it rest a few minutes before serving. This allows the tomatoes to release their juices which marry with the olive oil and vinegar to dress the salad.
Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 4 ribs celery (sliced thin on the diagonal)
- 6 slices cooked bacon (chopped coarsely)
- 6 green onions (sliced thin on the diagonal)
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill
- 2 teaspoons celery seed
- ½ teaspoon nigella seed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- finely ground real salt (as needed)
Making the salad.
- Toss the tomatoes, celery, and bacon together in a medium mixing bowl until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add the green onions, parsley, and dill, and then toss lightly. Sprinkle the salad with celery and nigella, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt as needed.
- Let the salad rest about 3 to 5 minutes before serving, or transfer it to a container and store in the frefrigerator for up to 3 days.
Try grape tomatoes. Like cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes are small with big flavor. Instead of halving the tomatoes, quarter the larger ones.
Skip the bacon and try toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds instead, both will bring a pleasant salty crunch to the salad.
Omit the celery seed and nigella, and add coarsely ground black pepper instead. Celery and nigella offer a deep aromatic note with slightly bitter undertones that complements tomatoes, but if you don’t have them black pepper works fine, too.
Roasted Plum Tomatoes
If you like this simple cherry tomato salad, and you’re looking for other ways to use up summer tomatoes, try this recipe for Roasted Plum Tomatoes. They’re stuffed with garlicky pecans and loads of herbs.
Citations and References
- Tomatoes: Nutrition Facts and Calories. Nutrition Data. Retrieved 2020.
- Frusciante L, Carli P, Ercolano MR, Pernice R, Di Matteo A, Fogliano V, Pellegrini N. Antioxidant nutritional quality of tomato. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 May;51(5):609-17
- Larson-Meyer, D. E., Ingold, B. C., Fensterseifer, S. R., Austin, K. J., Wechsler, P. J., Hollis, B. W., Makowski, A. J., & Alexander, B. M. (2017). Sun exposure in pigs increases the vitamin D nutritional quality of pork. PloS one, 12(11), e0187877.
- Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved 2020.
- Kooti W, Hasanzadeh-Noohi Z, Sharafi-Ahvazi N, Asadi-Samani M, Ashtary-Larky D. Phytochemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutic uses of black seed (Nigella sativa). Chin J Nat Med. 2016 Oct;14(10):732-745.