Friday, June 13, 2014

Marinated Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped and marinated in a herb vinaigrette. Serve as is, spoon over a mixed garden salad, use as a garnish with grilled meats, or spoon over individual plates of plain shredded lettuce.

Marinated Tomatoes

With the big move to our new home, I planted a little late this year, and just picked the first of my homegrown tomatoes off the vine in my backyard. They will soon be part of my annual summer ritual.

This year, I was short on time to dig a garden or set up raised beds like before, so I just did a few containers of tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets and planted some herbs, beans and cucumbers right outside the patio door.

I know that some of you will disagree with my method, but you'll notice that I like to pluck mine early, and for me, that's when they are just beginning to show a blush of color. Then I let them complete the ripening process in a sunny windowsill.

Tomatoes are one fruit that once picked will continue to ripen, and frankly, tastes exactly the same as if you'd left it on the vine. Because I also love having lots of birds around and I keep several feeders in the yard for them, it's insurance that I beat them to my precious homegrown tomatoes, because once they begin to color, trust me, the birds will happily lead the race.

Those have only been in the window for 2 days and have already taken on quite a lot of color since I picked them thanks to the sun! This window is in my new Deep South Dish home office and has a western exposure, but the insulated windows means that my tomatoes will ripen, rather than bake, in this hot Southern sun. Keep that in mind with the site you choose for window ripening!

The ritual begins with the first ripe tomato - simply sliced, on a plate, doused with kosher salt and plenty of black pepper, with a dab of Duke's mayo on the side.

Next, the perfect thick sliced tomato sandwich, with plenty of salt, pepper and Duke's, on white bread, consumed most often standing over the kitchen sink with juices dripping down my arms. Heaven.

Not far after, I will enjoy my favorite grilled cheese sandwich made with very thinly sliced, raw sweet Vidalia onion and slices of homegrown tomatoes, sandwiched in between Cheddar or American cheese and pan grilled. A side of fresh, homemade tomato soup is always welcome, even in the summer. If you have never had tomato soup made with summer tomatoes, you must remedy that now, I insist!

These marinated tomatoes are another one of the many summer salads that I enjoy this time of year. They are great just as they are, when used as a garnish with grilled meats, or spooned over individual plates of plain shredded lettuce. Heck, I've even used them in an omelet! On occasion, it's also great to add in a bit of cubed Mozzarella or Bocconcini - the small Mozzarella balls.

I like to keep a bowl of these tomatoes constantly circulating in my fridge during the summer when tomatoes are peaking and abundant in the garden, often with some Vidalia onion thrown in, along with sliced up cucumber too, and just keep feeding it until I can tell the dressing needs to be refreshed. Remember though, tomatoes don't much like refrigeration, so consume them, don't just store them! Summer in a bowl.

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Recipe: Marinated Tomatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Inactive time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 10 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 4 cups of roughly chopped tomatoes (about 3 large), juices retained
  • Shredded lettuce

Whisk together the first eight ingredients until blended. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juices to the dressing. Cover and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, or refrigerate for up to 2 hours to serve chilled. Serve as is, spoon over a mixed garden salad, use as a garnish with grilled meats, or spoon over individual plates of plain shredded lettuce.

Cook's Notes: May substitute 1 teaspoon each of dried basil and parsley. Add 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped, and/or half of a sliced Vidalia onion, if desired. Also very good with a cup of cubed Mozzarella or Bocconcini (small Mozzarella balls) added.


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Posted by on June 13, 2014
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  1. That looks delicious! I love fresh summer tomatoes, sounds like a great way to prepare them. :)

  2. One of my earliest memories is standing in our garden, pulling a juicy red tomato off the vine & eating it. Sometimes I would pull up a green onion & eat it with the tomato. Mmmm, There is nothing like fresh vegetables from your garden. We haven't been able to grow vegetables while living here in the mountains because of the animals eating them I really miss a garden. I love tomatoes anyway you prepare them & this recipe looks great.

  3. I think I can live on a diet of fresh homegrown tomatoes alone in the summer!! The one's you get in the supermarket just don't have the same taste but they are perfect with this recipe when you're in need for a tomato fix!! Thanks for all the good recipes!!

    1. You're welcome & thanks for being a part of the family here! I agree with the grocery store tomatoes. They are often hothouse tomatoes and almost always refrigerated which changes the texture of them, but they will work in a pinch for recipes. You can't beat a homegrown backyard tomato though, especially for a sandwich! I wait all year for summer to roll back around because I'm like you - I eat tons of them!!

  4. Tomatoes already? We are just putting ours in the ground in Maine! My favorite way to eat tomaotoes is how my Sicilian grandmother taught me: cheese, tomato, on good bread with salt, pepper, dash of olive oil and oregano. Grill and tastes like pizza. Could eat these every day for lunch.

    1. Yes! We are blessed with an extremely long growing season here in the South. Since I'm a veggie lover, this really is my time of the year. Your grandmother sure knew how to eat - I love that!! I think I'll have one for lunch today! :)

  5. It's funny, but I don't like tomatoes on sandwiches. I love to eat them like an apple, plus a sprinkle of salt!

    1. Hey Pam! So nice to see you!! I really need to get around visiting more... just can't seem to find the time anymore. Now I do have to say apples and tomatoes is a totally different concept for me. Interesting!

  6. We planted 4 different types of tomatoes in big pots, as we have no yard. Just as they were getting red, and ready to pick, someone came along and picked them off!! I will pick them like you do now and let them ripen inside in a window.

    1. The nerve of them!! Mine are already almost ripened now, so once they get that little blush of color is when I pick them and they really do ripen in the window pretty quick. I may be eating one of these with supper tomorrow!!

  7. One of my fondest memories is of eating tomato sandwiches when I was visiting my aunt in northern Mississippi. Homegrown tomatoes are the best. Of course they are served with a glass of sweet tea. Love it.

  8. Do you know what I've eaten my whole life? Marinated cucumbers!! 'Round here, we slice cucumbers and put them in apple cider vinegar with salt and pepper. Oh ya, and you can cut an onion into little wedges to put in there too. Anyway, let it marinate overnight, and grub out. It's kind of bitter because of the vinegar, but it's so tasty!

    1. Oh yeah, we do enjoy those around here too - we cut the bitter with a little sugar of course LOL! I love it with thick slices of Vidalia onion too, yum, yum!! I have several different cucumber salads up, so be sure to check those out Linda!

  9. We got a late start on growing our tomatoes too ...we had them outside hardening off and then we got a frost that killed them so we had to start all over again. I don't have any near ripe just yet, but you can bet your bottom dollar that this will be the first recipe I try when I do have ripe tomatoes! Thanks for sharing all of these awesome recipes with us.

    1. Oh no! The weather has been so odd this last year - I hate that you lost all of your tomato plants. :(

      You're very welcome Rene. Starting this website was my "therapy" after Hurricane Katrina took my career and changed my life. It's been so much fun to see how much other folks have enjoyed my recipes. I always knew I was a decent cook but never would have imagined that. I hope that you enjoy trying the marinated tomatoes Rene - be sure to check out all of those other tomato salad recipes here too!

  10. I made this yesterday but added to it - namely a rough chopped Vidalia onion, two rough chopped cleaned jalapeno peppers and diced up avocado. Very good without lettuce.

  11. Hi Mary!! We don't have any tomatoes ready yet (just started growing) but we did pull our first squash this weekend. So excited! This recipe sounds good for when we get them. I saw Squash Recipes on the side here so I checked it out. AWESOME!! Will be pinning a lot!! Thank you!!

    1. I'll have to wait till next year for squash when I (hopefully) get some actual gardens down here at the new house, but I buy them pretty steady at the market. I hope you enjoy trying a few of those squash recipes here Kim!

  12. The only way to improve home grown tomatoes would be if they grew at eye level, in the shade.

    1. Two excellent points but they sure do love that sun don't they? I've been very happy with my container tomatoes this year Don. I may just go with it again next summer!!

  13. I made these tonight and Boy Howdy, were they ever GOOD! Thank you for sharing your recipe!


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