This Mediterranean tomato salad is sunshine on a plate. With tuna, olives and capers, it is ideal for an elegant, light lunch. Serve it with a good loaf of crusty rustic bread to sop up all the delicious juices. Add a well-chilled bottle of dry Provençal rosé, and your meal is complete.
I have such fond memories of picking home-grown tomatoes as a girl. Those tomatoes — still warm from the summer sun — were so flavourful they required little, if any, seasoning. I’ve spent a lifetime chasing those flavour memories.
However, even if I never succeed in finding tomatoes quite as tasty as those we used to grow at home, we now have access to a wider variety of high-quality supermarket tomatoes than ever before. Our markets carry local tomatoes in a vast array of colours, sizes, and flavours. So, there has never been a better time to explore the vast range of tomato salads which highlight this seasonal treat.
This Mediterranean tomato salad is a bit heftier than some of the others I’ve presented on this blog. The addition of tuna makes it ideal for a light lunch or dinner on a hot day. Best of all, this salad comes together very quickly, without any cooking. So, you are free to enjoy your company, the weather, and the season’s best produce to the fullest.
About this Recipe
The best thing about local, seasonal, super-ripe tomatoes is that they pack a nutritionally dense flavour punch with limited intervention on the part of the cook. By salting the tomatoes before adding the vinaigrette ingredients, you season them and draw out some of their natural juices which ultimately form the base of the vinaigrette. This is why the recipe calls for very little lemon juice.
The fresh lemon juice serves to brighten and complement the flavours. However, do not try to make this salad with bottled lemon juice. It’s really important to use fresh lemon juice, as the more intensely acidic flavour of bottled juices are sure to throw off the balance of your salad.
When preparing tomato salad, use a flaky, natural sea salt, because the larger grains draw out the tomato juices more effectively, and there’s a significantly lower risk of over salting. Moreover, the delicious, natural flavour of the sea salt shines in simple dishes, such as this one.
I hope your family enjoys this light, delicious salad as much as mine does. Bon appétit!
Mediterranean Tomato Salad with Tuna, Olives and Capers
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This easy, 30-minute, no-cook salad is perfect for light, summer dining. Its bright, fresh flavours pair beautifully with a Provençal rosé and you’ll want to serve it with a good, crusty bread to sop up all the delicious juices.
- 4-5 large, ripe tomatoes (about 700 g)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 170 g (6 oz) tin tuna, drained and flaked
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
- 12 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly torn
- 1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Core the tomatoes and cut them into bite-sized wedges. Toss the tomatoes with the salt in a large bowl. Set aside until the tomatoes juice up, about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, put the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk lightly to combine. Taste, and adjust salt as needed.
- Once the tomatoes have juiced up nicely, add the vinaigrette to the tomatoes and toss gently to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Arrange flaked tuna over the tomatoes and serve immediately.
If you’re serving this salad as a light entrée, it will serve 4.
You may substitute an equal volume of colourful cherry tomatoes. However, be sure to cut them into halves or quarters, so that they juice up nicely.