A wonderfully flavorsome quick Spanish tomato salad. Make it in minutes, eat right away, or leave it to chill in the fridge at your leisure. Make sure to have plenty of crusty bread to mop up the tomato juices, olive oil, garlic, and balsamic mix!
I’ve taken a few liberties with the ingredients, Spanish tomato salad traditionally doesn’t have feta or almonds or balsamic glaze, but they really elevate the dish.
Why you’ll love it
- It’s an incredibly easy recipe to make.
- It’s delicious.
- It looks super pretty!
- It makes a great centerpiece at casual brunches or for hot-weather lunching.
- It can be made ahead of time and tastes even better after having been chilled for a while.
- You’ll only need ten easy-to-find ingredients.
- Lots of process photos and detailed instructions mean you should be able to replicate it perfectly.
Ingredients and substitutions
Check out which ten easy-to-find ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe in the image below. Then scroll down a bit further to see if there are any substitutions you make if you’re short on ingredients.
Fun fact: The beautiful tomatoes you see in the photo below are Raf tomatoes, traditionally grown in Spain. They grow best in the presence of saltwater, and ripen from the inside out. If you’re ever in Spain I highly recommend trying them!
Black pepper: Use fresh ground pepper only, omit if you don’t have any.
Parsley: Use fresh parsley, curly or flat-leaved is fine. If you don’t have any you can use fresh basil, although it will give more of an “Italian” twist. I don’t recommend cilantro for this recipe. If you don’t have any fresh herbs, just omit them.
Salt: I live to use flaked sea salt but you can use table salt if you prefer.
Feta: If you don’t have any feta you can try crumbled goat cheese (remove the rind first) or cotija. If you’re vegan you can use a good quality vegan feta like Violife, or omit the cheese altogether.
Garlic: I really recommend using freshly minced garlic for this recipe, but if you don’t have any just omit it. Don’t use ground garlic as it will lead to an unpleasant texture.
Flaked almonds: These are highly recommended. If you don’t have flaked almonds you can chop some up, or use another nut that toasts well like Walnut, and thinly slice them.
Onion: You can use any type of onion you prefer here. I use brown or sweet onions, shallots, etc. whatever I have to hand. In the expert tips section below, there is a tip on how to dull the sharp taste of raw onions if you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy it.
Balsamic glaze: Balsamic glaze, also known as balsamic reduction, is just perfect in this recipe and an important part of the moreish sauce that develops from the olive oil, tomato juice, garlic, and salt mixing. If you don’t have any, you can make your own by gently heating one part brown sugar with four parts balsamic vinegar until the brown sugar is dissolved, and then refrigerating until cool.
Olive oil: Use good quality extra virgin olive oil here preferably. For a cheaper option, virgin olive oil, or in a pinch, refined olive oil with a good strong flavor will do. I don’t recommend substituting any other type of oil.
Tomatoes: You can use whichever type of tomatoes you prefer, preferably large, high-quality ones. Make sure they’re firm and ripe, or even slightly under-ripe. Heirloom tomatoes in particular are amazing in this salad, beefsteak tomatoes are a great shape and size for it, but really, whatever you prefer. Just not cherry tomatoes as they’re too small!
How to make it
This is a really simple salad that comes together in minutes. First, prepare the flaked almonds. Heat a small non-stick pan on a medium setting.
1. Add the flaked almonds to the pan (without oil) when the pan is hot. Toast for around four minutes, shaking the pan regularly to prevent burning.
2. When done, tip out into a small bowl or onto a plate, if you leave them in the pan they will continue to brown, even with the heat turned off, and could possibly burn.
3. Slice the tomatoes about one centimeter thick and lay them out on a single layer on a plate or serving platter.
4. Sprinkle the salt over. Thinly slice the onion and arrange over. Finely chop the garlic and sprinkle it over as evenly as possible.
5. Drizzle the olive oil over the salad, followed by the balsamic glaze.
6. Now crumble over the feta (don’t crumble it too small, you want some nice chunks for contrast) and grind a little black pepper over evenly. If you’re not eating the salad now, store it in the fridge. If you have the time to spare, chilling for at least an hour will allow the flavors to develop more fully but it’s also super tasty eaten straight away.
Finally, sprinkle over a thick layer of the toasted flaked almonds and the finely chopped parsley just before serving. Add an extra optional drizzle of olive oil, and enjoy!
I highly recommend eating this alongside some good crusty bread for mopping up the delicious juices. We often eat this in summer along with some patatas bravas, some good manchego cheese, and dressed olives.
You’ll need very little equipment to make this recipe, but some of the things you’ll need to hand include:
- A small or medium-sized non-stick pan or skillet.
- A large flat dinner plate
- A sharp knife
- A chopping board
- A pepper grinder
- Don’t store your uncut tomatoes in the fridge! It will make them mealy, and then they’ll only be good for making sauces with.
- If your tomatoes are not quite ripe enough, storing them in a brown paper bag with the top folded over should speed things up. Adding a ripe apple or banana to the bag will move things along even faster!
- Thinly slicing the onions will give a nice mild bite to this tomato salad recipe, but if you find raw onions too overpowering, you can slice them and soak them in ice-cold water for around twenty minutes. This will remove most of the bite but keep them nice and crisp. Just drain, dry well, and add to your salad.
- If your tomatoes are a bit underripe or out of season, sprinkling a little caster sugar (about a quarter teaspoon) over them when sliced and leaving for about ten minutes before proceeding with the recipe will yield a better-tasting tomato!
Leftover salad will keep up to four days in the refrigerator, but I recommend consuming it within two days as later on the tomatoes will be too soft.
No, I heartily do not recommend freezing fresh quality tomatoes as the texture changes (and not for the better).
Yes! Although it also depends on what you pair it with.
More salad-related recipes
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- 3 Tablespoons flaked almonds
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (adjust to taste)
- ¼ of a small onion
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic glaze
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste, I use about ½ tsp)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- Toast the flaked almonds in a pan over medium heat for around four minutes, shaking regularly, until they're golden brown. Remove from the pan to a small bowl or plate.
- Slice the tomatoes horizontally into 1 cm thick pieces. Discard the tops, and arrange the slices on a large plate.
- Sprinkle the salt over the tomatoes. Thinly slice the onion and sprinkle over. Finely chop the garlic and distribute it as evenly as possible.
- Drizzle the olive oil over, then the balsamic glaze.
- Sprinkle the crumbled feta over and top with freshly ground black pepper.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve (or eat immediately). Just before serving, sprinkle a thick layer of the toasted almonds over, followed by the chopped parsley. Enjoy!
You can use any type of large firm tasty tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes and good-quality beefsteak tomatoes are great in this salad.
If you don't have any extra virgin olive oil, any good quality strong-tasting olive oil will do. I don't recommend using any other type of oil apart from olive.
If you don't have feta, rindless goat cheese or cotija will do. FOr a vegan version, omit the feta or use vegan feta.
If you don't have fresh parsley you can omit it or replace with fresh basil.
Serving Size1 small side plate
Amount Per Serving Calories 236Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 17mgSodium 747mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 3gSugar 11gProtein 6g