This heirloom tomato, basil, peach salad with cucumber, bell pepper and avocado was a sort of a spontaneous salad creation when I was looking for something to bring out to the lake for the 4th of July. Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about how to make a salad that's not boring. This is a perfect example!
And yes, I do call this a salad even though it doesn't have lettuce. Who says a salad has to have lettuce, anyway?
Of course if you want lettuce you can always toss some of this on top of greens. Or chicken. Or nachos....
It's all about balance, right? And keeping it simple, especially in the summer.
There's so many better things to be doing than spending a lot of time on dinner. That's why I love dishes like this that you can make ahead of time, keep it in the fridge and have it ready and waiting whenever you want to eat.
Tomato, Tomahto? Are Heirlooms Really Better?
Heirloom tomatoes have become quite popular and for good reason. They're more flavorful, unique and can even have a higher nutritional profile than conventionally grown tomatoes.
Did you know tomatoes are one of the top two most consumed vegetables in the United States? (Well, tomato is really a fruit but... tomato, tomahto...) Any guess what the other one is?
Potatoes! (Would you like more ketchup on those fries?)
So our high demand for tomatoes has led to some changes in farming and growing practices to make them available 365 days a year. The good news is we can top our sandwiches and salads with tomatoes all year long. The bad news is there's some quality loss.
If you've ever cut into a tomato and found the inside to be sort of pale, or if you've taken a bite and there was none of that tomato juiciness or flavor, or if your tomato had a sort of mealy texture, then you know what I'm talking about...
Heirlooms and some organic tomatoes are different though. Heirloom means that the variety is at least 50 years old, it's been open-pollinated (without human intervention) and the seeds have usually been handed down generation to generation. These plants' characteristics tend to be the same from one year to the next so the produce is closest to it's original, native state.
So to make sure you're getting the tastiest, most flavorful and nutritious tomatoes, I recommend opting for organic and taking advantage of heirlooms when they're available seasonally in the summer.
The Right Way to Slice and Dice Tomatoes
Check out my guide to tomatoes here and learn the right way to slice and dice them. Also get my favorite time-saving trick for halving cherry tomatoes, storage tips, and learn the health benefits you get from eating more tomatoes. Go to the guide.
Heirloom Tomato, Basil, Peach Salad
2 heirloom tomatoes*, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 peaches, diced
1 avocado**, diced
1 bunch basil, torn
extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl combine vegetables and fruits. Squeeze in lemon and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss, chill and refrigerator and serve.
*Any tomato will work so feel free to use whatever you like, regular tomatoes or cherry tomatoes would be good too.
**If you're making this ahead of time, wait to add avocado just before serving.
Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.