Make Ahead

Cherry Tomato Salad Sandwich

August 15, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Inspiration for this salad comes from David Tanis’ Tomato Salad on a Roll in the NYTimes by way of Luisa Weiss' blog The Wednesday Chef. I’ve made countless versions of egg salad, chicken salad, and tuna salad – but why had I never thought to make tomato salad and pile it on a crusty bread? David Tanis flavors his tomato salad with capers, garlic, and anchovies. In my version, I take ingredients from my favorite panzanella – crunchy cucumber, black olives, and creamy mozzarella -- and finely dice them so the cherry tomatoes remain center stage. If you’re like me, you may find yourself sneaking bites of the salad before it ever hits your bread, so be wise and make extra. —EmilyC

What You'll Need
  • 1 heaping cup of cherry tomatoes (mixed varieties and colors if possible)
  • salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced pitted black olives (I like niçoise or kalamata)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced fresh mozzarella
  • 5 large basil leaves
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • baguette or crusty rolls, for serving
  1. Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves or quarters, depending on size, and put them into a salad bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  2. Finely dice your cucumber, olives, and mozzarella and add them to the cherry tomatoes. Cut a chiffonade of basil by stacking the leaves, rolling them into a cigar shape, and cutting them crosswise into very thin ribbons. Add the basil to the salad. Gently fold in the extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Split the rolls or baguette lengthwise. Tear out a little of the bread from the bottom half of each roll or baguette, then spoon tomato salad and its juices onto the bottom half. Replace top half and press lightly. Note: I split the baguette like a book for the picture above, but this makes for a messier eating experience.
  4. (Note: David Tanis suggests covering the sandwiches at this point with a clean kitchen towel and waiting an hour or so to let the flavors mingle and the bread fully soak up the vinaigrette. I didn't have the patience to wait it out – and the sandwich didn't suffer in any way – but by all means follow this step if you'd like.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cookinginvictoria
  • hardlikearmour
  • lapadia
  • boulangere
  • gingerroot

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

24 Reviews

cookinginvictoria August 22, 2011
Hi Emily, I made these sandwiches over the weekend, and they were amazing. I didn't have any mozzarella cheese, so instead I put a thin layer of fresh goat cheese on the inside layer of the bread. I used a little more basil because I had a lot of it on hand, but other than that, I followed your recipe exactly as written. Wow, the sandwichers were so good. The sherry vinaigrette brought out the tomatoes' sweetness without overpowering their fresh and juicy flavor. The cucumbers added the tiniest bit of crunch and the olives added a nice, briny note. I could eat these sandwiches every day during the summer. Can't believe that I never thought of putting tomato salad into a sandwich -- such an inspired idea and a nice change of pace from the regular sliced tomato, mozaarella and basil sandwich. Next up, I will have to try David Tanis's version. Anyway, I am so glad that you posted this. I look forward to making this recipe again soon!
cookinginvictoria August 22, 2011
Typing too fast -- I meant to say sandwiches not sandwichers and mozzarella not mozaarella. Wish there was an editing feature attached to the comments, LOL.
EmilyC August 22, 2011
Thanks so much for reporting back, cookinginvictoria...reading this just made my day! I'm so happy that you liked the sandwich. The layer of goat cheese sounds like a fantastic variation -- one that I want to try!
hardlikearmour August 17, 2011
Yum! This looks and sounds perfect. I would definitely be unable to follow the last step ;)
EmilyC August 17, 2011
Thanks HLA! That last step makes me wonder if the bread would get soggy after an hour...but I don't intend to find out!
cookinginvictoria August 17, 2011
Yum -- I love tomato sandwiches in the summer, and I often make them with just mozzarella, basil and a balsamic vinaigrette, but this combination looks and sounds amazing. I really like the addition of cucumbers and olives. And a sherry vinaigrette sounds like the perfect finishing touch for this sandwich. Must. Try, This. Soon (preferably w/ Boulangere's bottle of wine, LOL)!
EmilyC August 17, 2011
Thanks CIV! I think I could subsist entirely on tomato sandwiches in the summer!
lapadia August 16, 2011
Yes please!
EmilyC August 16, 2011
Too funny! I guess that's the power of good tomatoes...they make you hungry first thing in the morning!
boulangere August 15, 2011
Beautiful creation!
EmilyC August 16, 2011
Thanks, that means a lot! There's so much inspiration at every turn on this site and other good food blogs...probably explains why I think about food in the middle of the night!
gingerroot August 15, 2011
I love the idea of tomato salad!! Yum. Makes me want one right now.
boulangere August 15, 2011
Order two. I'll bring the wine.
EmilyC August 16, 2011
Thanks gingerroot -- I'm craving another one right now and I haven't even had my coffee! But I definitely think boulangere has the right idea...two sandwiches, one bottle of wine!
BlueKaleRoad August 15, 2011
You are so right, why not tomato salad? I love this recipe and will be making very soon.
EmilyC August 16, 2011
It seems so obvious, right? Please report back if you try it! It comes together in about 5 minutes flat.
Lizthechef August 15, 2011
A new favorite sandwich here - terrific.
EmilyC August 16, 2011
I'm so happy! And congrats again on your beautiful summer corn pudding...I shared your recipe with my mom who's swimming in sweet corn right now, and as soon as I get my hands on some good corn, I'm making it, too (hopefully this weekend)!
aargersi August 15, 2011
Yum, I would happily eat this!!! And I probably will - soon.
EmilyC August 16, 2011
Thanks aargersi -- it's a little messy but in a good way! I'd love to know if you try it!
inpatskitchen August 15, 2011
This is just beautiful!!
EmilyC August 16, 2011
Thanks so much! I love all of the colors and varieties of cherry tomatoes that are available right now!
Sagegreen August 15, 2011
What is not to love with this combination?
EmilyC August 16, 2011
Thanks Sagegreen! And I agree, this combination is hard to beat.