This refreshing, chopped summer Tomato Salad is a perfect, foolproof side dish. Fresh, juicy tomatoes combined with crunchy bell peppers, red onions, a hint of fresh garlic are served in a sweet, tangy, and slightly smokey dressing.
Tomato salad is the perfect side dish for many easy meals. From Chicken Schnitzel, and Krautfleckerl (fried cabbage noodles) to classic pasta dishes like Lasagna Rolls. You really can't go wrong.
This recipe is perfect all year long, but especially during the summer months when tomatoes are ripe and at their most flavorful.
And if you want to know, this is the salad I'll probably make most often for myself. It's so simple, reminds me of home and my childhood, and it's also healthy and nutritious.
You've heard me talk a lot about my Oma's cooking. She's the one who passed on her love for cooking, baking and hosting. Be sure to try Oma's classic cucumber salad or her amazing Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich)!
But this tomato salad is my mom's signature salad. It's the one she'd bring to every party, family barbecue, or birthday bash. It's been a family favorite for decades, and I hope you'll love it, too.
Why This Recipe Works
Make-Ahead - This is a great salad to prep ahead. Because they are no lettuce leaves, you don't have to worry about wilting leaves. I actually think the salad is best on day two because all of the flavors had time to marinate.
Quick and Easy - From start to finish, this salad takes just about 15 minutes. It's even quicker if you're going to use a vegetable chopper. I've recently invested in one, and I'm obsessed.
Flavor - This salad is a flavor powerhouse. It's tangy, sweet, and smokey. With just a hint of garlic (if you choose to add some). Delicious.
TOMATOES - Fresh tomatoes are a must for this recipe. I like to get tomatoes on the vine because they are most similar to the tomatoes I grew up with. But you could also use cherry tomatoes or even grape tomatoes.
BELL PEPPER - We've always used red bell peppers for this recipe. They are easy to find, and I think they are the tastiest. And, of course, they color match the tomatoes. LOL.
RED ONION - I like to use red onions in salads because raw red onions are milder than yellow onions. And of course, they also go with the red color scheme of this salad. 😉
GARLIC - So, using fresh garlic is optional. I wouldn't do it if I'm making tomato salad for a picnic or potluck. But if it's just family, I'm all about adding some fresh garlic.
DRESSING - For the dressing, we use a simple vinaigrette made of extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a dash of mustard, smoked sweet paprika, and sugar. And of course, season to taste with salt and pepper.
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How To Make Mom's German Tomato Salad
This is a really simple summer salad.
- Chop the tomatoes, bell peppers, and red onions. I like to coarsely chop the ingredients for this salad, but you can finely chop if that's your preference.
- Toss the tomatoes, red onions, and bell peppers in a large bowl. Add minced garlic if desired.
- Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and smoked sweet paprika in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad.
Allow the salad to rest for 15-30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to mix and unfold. Season with salt if desired, but it's often not necessary
This salad can easily be made a day in advance. Remove it from the fridge 15 minutes before serving.
Tomato salad will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge. You may want to add some salt to enhance the flavor.
Unlike other tomato salads, in this recipe, do not remove the seeds. We want the tomato juices to dilute the dressing. The natural juices of the tomato helps to perfectly balance the flavors. This way, it's neither too sweet, too tangy, nor too smokey.
I generally use a shallow salad bowl because once upon a time, a restaurant chef told me that flavors unfold better in shallow bowls. I don't know if that's science or opinion, but it's something I've adopted when making salads.
This salad gives me the opportunity to tell you about one of my favorite condiments: Düsseldorf Mustard! If you get a chance, grab a jar or two at your local supermarket (around here, larger supermarkets carry it).
When it comes to Düsseldorf mustard, I am 100% biased ... because I was born in Düsseldorf!
This style of mustard is flavorful without being overly spicy. Similar to a Dijon mustard, it strikes the perfect balance between tangy and sweet. It's If you can't find it, use yellow or Dijon mustard. It will work as well.
More Simple Summer Salads
- Watermelon and Orange Salad
- German Potato Salad (cold)
- Amish Macaroni Salad
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
German Tomato Salad
- 6 medium tomatoes chopped
- 2 large red bell peppers chopped
- 1 medium red onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced, optional
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard dijon mustard or yellow mustards or Dusseldorf mustard work well
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- Combine tomatoes, red bell peppers, red onions, and minced garlic (optional) in a large salad bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and smoked sweet paprika until well combined.
- Pour dressing over the tomato salad and toss to combine. If desired season with salt and pepper. Rest for 15-30 minutes.
Hi There, I’m Maike!
A German girl turned American sharing hundreds of easy, homemade comfort food recipes perfect for everyday cooking.
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