Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad

I wrapped up my final semester of grad school last week and have been day dreaming ever since (Yippee!! Recipe for a celebration treat to come! Here's a hint: It involves frosting and chocolate). I have Northern Italy on the mind! My browser's history is rich with images of Misurina Lakeold Castles with winding roads backdropped by and jagged mountains, and Tiramisu. Don't forget about the glass lakes, or storybook farm scenes either. 

In the fall, I'll be traveling to Iceland, Germany, Austria, and Italy for two weeks! My mom and step-dad, who have been using Bavaria as a home base for the last year and a half, will join Oliver and I for the adventure. The trip is still months away, but a girl can day dream, right? I'll also be using my day dreams as recipe inspiration until I can taste the real deal. 

This salad is not Italian, but it has tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar, which is most of the way there, right? ;) It's also a fantastic summery break from the surprise spring snow storm we just got (Ugh!). 

Italian or not, what makes this salad so good? The answer is easy: the tomatoes are marinaded in a bold dressing that is tart and sweet until their natural flavors are amplified. To turn this into a proper salad, you can spoon the marinaded tomato mixture over a bed of lettuce (my favorite these days is butter head or buttercup).

From the spoon or from a plate, Salude! Here's to the near future, and all of the fun it holds. 

Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad

Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad

Published May 11, 2015 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 6 large leaves of lettuce (my favorite variety is butter head, but anything will work)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half (cherry tomatoes in various colors make this salad gorgeous, but it’s not necessary)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • Optional: freshly cracker pepper

  • Directions:

    1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine lemon juice and zest, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, honey, and minced garlic. Whisk to combine.
    2. Add sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion to vinegar mixture and stir. Set aside for at least 15 minutes so that flavors can intermingle.
    3. To serve: Spread lettuce leaves out in the bottom of a serving bowl or platter. Add fresh basil and parsley to tomato mixture, stirring to incorporate. Use a slotted spoon to transfer tomato mixture to the serving dish, and then drizzle any remaining vinegar mixture over the top of the salad. Top with freshly cracker pepper to taste and serve.