Salad

This Simple Tomato Salad Has Me Questioning My Loyalty to Caprese

Meet the new supreme salad of summer.

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June 29, 2019
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food Stylist: Lauren LaPenna. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine.

We've partnered with Cakebread Cellars—a Napa Valley winery renowned for its elegant and food-friendly bottlings—to share the simply delicious salad we'll be making all summer long, plus the best wine to pair it with.


I have always been a sucker for a simple Caprese salad. Ripe, juicy slices of tomato fanned between thick wedges of creamy mozzarella, drizzled in peppery olive oil and maybe a few spatters of sweet-tart balsamic vinegar. Oh, and don't forget the sprigs of fresh-picked basil sprinkled over top. It's the epitome of easygoing, no-cook dining: the supreme salad of summer.

Or is it?

My recent discovery of this tomato, peach, and goat cheese salad dressed in a tart apple vinaigrette has me thinking otherwise.

This top summer salad contender is just as easy to make as its three-ingredient counterpart. You'll need a handful of ingredients (heirloom tomatoes, ripe peaches, fresh goat cheese, herbs, shallots, olive oil and vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper) all of which should be of the highest quality you can find (hint: go to the farmers market).

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“Use fresh, best quality peaches and tomatoes; they really stand out. ”
— Carolyn A.
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The longtime community member behind this recipe, food blogger Emily Grossi, suggests using a special granny smith apple balsamic vinegar, but a champagne vinegar or white balsamic subs in without skipping a beat. She also strongly recommends that you not put your tomatoes in the fridge, and I agree—it kills the flavor.

The whole thing can be ready to serve in about five minutes, or as long as it takes you to chop up the fruits and herbs. And the result is, dare I say, better than a simple Caprese. The light acidity of the tomato with the sweetness of the peaches, plus the bold, creamy tang of the chèvre is tasty all on its own, but the lively vinaigrette and herbs tie everything together.

Having already made this salad a few times, I have a couple of tricks to really make it shine. Start by taking the goat cheese out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you plan on serving, otherwise it'll be cold and over-crumbly and not as flavorful. To speed up the salad prep (even though this dish is already super speedy), make the dressing in advance and keep it in the fridge; you'll also want to take it out early to come up to room temperature, and give it a good shake to recombine the oil and vinegar.

And if you really want to impress your guests, pair this salad with a summer-ready wine that complements its bright, refreshing flavors. In this case, that means a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. You'll want to look for a bottle with aromas of ripe fruit and citrus to bring out the smooth sweetness of the peaches and mild bite of the tomatoes. Pouring something with a hint of minerality also plays nicely with the zingy vinaigrette and herbs.

One last suggestion: Eat this salad outside, and especially if it's a warm day. I don't know why, but it just tastes that much better when you're enjoying it with a side of summer sun.

Which salad recipes will you be making all summer long? Share them with us in the comments below!

We've partnered with Cakebread Cellars—a family owned and operated Napa winery—to share our new favorite summer salad, plus the best bottle of wine to sip alongside it. If you whip up this tomato, peach, and chèvre number yourself, you won't want to forget a bottle of Cakebread Cellars's Sauvignon Blanc, which has fresh aromas of fruit and bright notes of citrus, plus a minerality that perfectly complements all the flavors in the salad. Cakebread Cellars's commitment to consistent quality with each vintage means that whatever year your local wine store stocks, you can expect to find a stellar, food-friendly wine.

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Erin Alexander is the Assistant Editor of Partner Content at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.

6 Comments

calendargirl July 1, 2019
Brava, Em! We love this salad, too.
 
em-i-lis July 1, 2019
Ah, thank you, S!!!
 
em-i-lis July 1, 2019
Thank you so much for featuring my salad in this gorgeous article, Erin! :)
Happy summer,
Emily
 
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Erin A. July 1, 2019
Thank you for the gorgeous recipe! Making it for the 4th of July :)
 
em-i-lis July 1, 2019
Oh! I love that! :)
 
Carolyn A. June 30, 2019
Super easy, delicious, refreshing for a summer BBQ. I'm definitely saving this one. Use fresh, best quality peaches and tomatoes; they really stand out.