Fresh Tomato and Basil Salad

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Can you believe it is Labor Day weekend already? Where did the summer go? No, seriously… I have no idea how the time flew by so quickly.

Perhaps it flashed by because it was such a great summer. I finally went on my honeymoon to London and Paris, which was incredible; I got to spend some time kayaking on the Charles River; I celebrated my one year anniversary; and, perhaps best of all, I took many relaxing afternoon walks with Ryan after work. When the weather is beautiful and crazy schedules settle down a bit, it’s no wonder that the days melt away. If only we had another month left.

Admittedly, I know for many people – myself included – it is also nice to return to a regular routine; the kids go back to school, fall activities start up, and before you know it pumpkin flavored everything takes over the blogosphere. Ah, fall. I love you, too.

Nevertheless, I am not quite ready to relinquish my grasp on the lazy August days, and you will find that the next few posts fully embrace the fresh flavors of late summer. Today I offer you a light, refreshing tomato salad that is perfect for bringing to your Labor Day BBQ or serving up as quick side dish on a busy weeknight.

The ingredients are simple and it comes together in less than 10 minutes. Grab some cherry or grape tomatoes, your favorite ranch dressing, a little basil, and you’re in business. Enjoy!

Paula’s Notes: Feel free to use whatever color tomatoes you have on hand. I used a mix of red, orange, and yellow, just because the colors are so beautiful and I enjoy the subtle difference in flavors.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Salad

Yield: 6 servings (about 2/3 cup each)
Time: 10 minutes
  • 4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, whichever color you prefer
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2-3 tbls. of your favorite ranch dressing (start with 2 tablespoons, add more if desired)
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced (If you use my recipe for homemade ranch dressing, there is a good amount of garlic already, so you may want to taste prior to adding the extra clove)
  • Pepper, to taste
  1. Slice about 2 cups of the cherry tomatoes in half. Place in a large bowl with remaining tomatoes and basil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together ranch dressing and garlic until well blended.
  3. Add dressing to tomatoes and mix gently until tomatoes are fully coated.
  4. Season with pepper, and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Recipe adapted from Kraft.