I have an odd relationship with cherry tomatoes. They're really cute and pretty, but I don't really like them plain. Honestly, if I come across them in a typical garden salad, I will usually just push them aside.
But, I think they're perfect for making petite appetizers and I absolutely love marinated cherry tomatoes! During the summer months I like to marinate them and use them in a few ways, and one of my favorite easy side dishes is this cherry tomato salad. A marinated cherry tomato salad may not sound all that exciting to some, but if you try this I bet you get hooked. It's almost outrageous how much flavor those tiny tomatoes take on in just a couple of hours!
For this salad, you could easily use a store bought vinaigrette, but I normally make my own white wine vinaigrette. I enjoy making my own salad dressings mostly because I get to play with the flavors. If I want a sweet vinaigrette, I add more sugar. If I want more garlicky dressing, I add more garlic. If I want a fruity dressing I add bits of fruit. Anyhoo, you get the picture.
Whether you choose to make your own dressing or not, this chilled salad is perfect for a Sunday afternoon barbecue lunch or supper on any ol' hot day. It's fresh, delicious, and it adds an amazing pop of color to any table.
Marinated Cherry Tomato, Cucumber & Mozzarella Salad
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or to taste)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
- 1 heaping tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning (I used McCormick brand)
1. Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl or shaker. Stir well, and set aside for at least 20 minutes for the flavors to marry slightly
For the salad:
- 1 container cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise (I used Nature Sweet Cherubs)
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, diced
- 1/4 of a small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- mozzarella cheese (4 oz) diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1. Mix all veggies and cheese in a medium bowl. Pour dressing over the salad and mix until veggies and cheese are well coated with the dressing. Cover and chill for at least two hours or overnight if possible.