Cherry Tomato Basil Salad

A simple summer salad - perfect for picnics and BBQ's when tomatoes are in season!

cherry tomato basil salad //

I realize… this hardly counts as a recipe. In fact, I can list a whole slew of “recipes” I’ve posted that don’t reinvent any wheel or involve genius ingredient combinations. But it’s summer, and I’m of the opinion that when summer produce is at it’s peak, you should do little with it. That, or I’m starting to get lazy, I’m not sure which.

Either way, this not-rocket-science salad was dinner last Sunday night. A simple & pretty way to welcome the first official weekend of summer. It’s a glorified caprese salad, with sweet basil oil and some crunchy raw corn. Which would be unheard of on the island of Capri, but I had some beautiful fresh corn on hand, so in it went.

cherry tomato basil salad //

(I thought it was adorable that these were same size as my little tomatoes).

cherry tomato basil salad //

some other “barely” recipes you might enjoy this summer:

grilled herb garden pizza
roasted carrots & cilantro
kale & white bean crostini
lemony chickpea salad


cherry tomato basil salad

serves 2
basil oil:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2-3 basil leaves (plus more to toss into the salad)
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • about ⅔ cup of small mozzarella balls, halved
  • ½ cup raw corn kernels
  • a few sliced basil leaves
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (optional)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Make the basil oil by very finely chopping 3-4 of your basil leaves, and mixing with the olive oil and a small squeeze of lemon. (you can also do this in a food processor). Let that sit while you assemble everything else.
  2. Toss together the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, corn kernels and remainder of sliced basil with a bit of salt & pepper.
  3. Drizzle basil oil on top (however much you want), along with a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  4. Top with pine nuts and red pepper flakes. Serve with the remaining basil oil on the side.
vegan sub: replace mozzarella with chopped avocado


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Carina Cullivan

    Tasty summer salad w a nice blend of sweet and spice!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. annie from

    yum – perfect summer salad!! also I love you photographs – any tips? thanks!!

  3. Sometimes it’s the simplest ingredients that produce the best flavour combinations. When somethings good why complicate it?

    Dannielle @ Chic-a-Dee

  4. Kathryn from

    This is pretty much summer in a bowl – beautiful.

  5. Sarah from

    Sometimes a reminder of a delicious combination is as good as a recipe. Plus I love to see how you style thangs. Love it!

    • jeanine

      Thanks sarah 🙂

  6. The best recipes are the ones that are made fresh without any fuss. This is summer in a plate. Gorgeous!!

  7. This reminds me of the baby tomatoes I saw at the market last week. I had to smile at your non-recipe comment because so many of my favourite salads are that way too. Yours looks so delicious, and I love the addition of the corn and pine nuts. Sometimes simple is best! 🙂

    • jeanine

      Thanks! Agreed, I love simple when it’s just the right combo. (plus I’m a sucker for tomato-basil anything)

  8. amanda from

    this looks super tasty. summer is the best time for simple foods and gorgeous photos! tomatoes <3 <3

  9. Eileen from

    This salad is so perfect fo the new season tomatoes! Now, if only my backyard tomatoes would ripen…. 🙂

    • jeanine

      Totally agree, I’m especially picky about tomatoes… these little ones were so perfect at my farmers market that day.

  10. Maria from

    I could eat this salad every day!

  11. Corn – Great addition to one of my favorite summer salads when the tomatoes are at their prime! Love your pics!

  12. The best recipes are often not highly complicated anyway. You post the most wonderful recipe bases which demonstrate the simple pleasures good fresh food can deliver.

  13. Tieghan from

    Well, it is a dang awesome recipe to me!! I love everything about it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.