Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing

This Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing recipe is a great way to use up those heirloom tomatoes currently ripening on the vine in your garden.

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Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing

Dropping in for a quick post today and to give one last ode to summer with this late season heirloom tomato salad recipe. The humidity has already started to drop here in the Midwest so I know fall is on the horizon, but my garden is still bursting with these late summer beauties. I’d probably be wishing summer away altogether (fall is my favorite season) if it wasn’t for all the fresh herbs and tomatoes currently thriving in the garden.

This tomato basil salad is simple as it’s meant to let the flavor and texture of the fresh tomatoes really shine. Please do not make this salad if you don’t have tomatoes that were picked within the past few days or that have been stored in the fridge.

It’s also pretty perfect for those lingering warm September nights when you don’t feel like turning the oven on. I like a little crunch in my salad so I’ve added a handful of nuts and sesame seeds. This can be served as is or you can serve with with toasted bread (either sliced to be served on the side or torn and thrown into the salad).

read more: My Favorite Summer Salads for a Crowd

Heirloom Tomatoes on white background

What’s Needed for Heirloom Tomato Salad?

This is one of my favorite heirloom tomato recipes since the fresh tomato flavor really shines in this dish. To make the heirloom tomato salad and accompanying tomato salad dressing, you’ll need the following:

  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Toasted nuts (your choice)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Lemon juice and zest
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make Heirloom Tomato Salad

I’ve given detailed instructions in the recipe card below on how to make this tomato basil salad. Here are the basic steps to mastering this recipe:

  1. Arrange slices of heirloom tomatoes and halved cherry tomatoes on a platter.
  2. Sprinkle with torn basil leaves, toasted nuts, and sesame seeds.
  3. Whisk together the lemon dressing and drizzle half over the heirloom tomato salad. Let sit for 10 minutes to soak up the flavors.
  4. Drizzle on the remaining half of the tomato salad dressing just before serving.

Can I Use Different Types of Tomatoes?

Of course! Any ripe, freshly picked tomatoes will work in this recipe. This tomato basil salad will taste good with any combination of tomatoes!

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing

Tips for Making Heirloom Tomato Salad

If you have a nut allergy, feel free to omit the toasted nuts and substitute sunflower seeds or another seed of choice instead.

For the best flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than the bottled stuff. Trust me, it makes a big difference!

Lastly, it’s important that you let the heirloom tomato salad sit for 10 minutes after you drizzle on the dressing. This gives the tomatoes time to soak up the lemon dressing and makes for an extra flavorful salad.

Want More Summer Salad Recipes?

Looking to get a few more summer salad recipes in before we dive into everything pumpkin-spiced and apples? Here are my suggestions:

5 from 2 votes
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

This Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing recipe is a great way to use up those heirloom tomatoes currently ripening on the vine in your garden.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: tomato salad
Tomato Salad:
  • 5 large heirloom tomatoes , sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 1/4 cup torn basil
  • 1/4 cup toasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans) , chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • Bread , for serving (optional)
Lemon Dressing:
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper , to taste
Make the salad:
  1. Arrange slices of heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes on a serving platter in a single layer (there can be some overlap but most should be in a single layer). Sprinkle torn basil, nuts, and sesame over the tomatoes.

Make the dressing:
  1. Whisk together lemon juice, zest, and honey. Drizzle the olive oil into the lemon juice mixture until completely mixed. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Drizzle 1/2 the dressing over tomatoes and let sit for at least 10 minutes so they can absorb the flavor. Drizzle remaining dressing over salad right before serving.

  3. Enjoy as is or serve with toasted bread.



  • Mary
    September 12, 2018

    This salad looks delicious! I just acquired your first book “Vegetarian Ventures” (a little late to the party, I know); and I look forward to cooking and baking from it. I have made many of the dishes you have featured on this site, and they always shine! Thank you.

    • Shellywest
      September 14, 2018

      Awww I love hearing that! Thanks for picking up my book and so glad you are enjoying the recipes!! <3

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    September 14, 2018

    […] can’t quite give up summer just yet so this heirloom tomato salad with sweet lemon dressing sounds perfect for prolonging that summer […]

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    September 19, 2018

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  • antonio palmieri
    October 3, 2018

    Wonderfull. I cannot resist, I’m going to prepare it.! Thank you very much

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