In Tennesse, peak summer produce has finally started to arrive. If you follow along with me on Instagram you may have seen my epic haul from the farmers market yesterday – I went a little crazy and came home with tomatoes, peaches, beans, zucchini, edamame, watermelon, baby leeks, shishito peppers, bell peppers, carrots, eggplant, and herbs. So yea. I went a little crazy. I think the only summer vegetable I didn’t manage to snag was some corn!
Peaches and tomatoes are two of my favorites of all the summer produce. I wasn’t much of a peach eater until moving to Nashville where we’re lucky enough to have The Peach Truck as a staple all throughout peach season. And now, of course, I’m hooked.
And you might not think that peaches and tomatoes go together much less call for an entire peach and tomato salad tribute, but I firmly disagree! If you haven’t dipped your toe into savory fruit salads, then this is a really good and approachable salad to start with.
Oh, and if you’re already on the savory fruit salad bandwagon and are looking for more inspiration, this compilation from Bon Appetit makes me want to go BACK to the farmers market ASAP and buy even more summer produce.
Paring Peaches and Tomatoes
Peaches and tomatoes might not be the most likely of pairings, but they’re more similar than you might immediately think. Both are simultaneously sweet and acidic – peaches are a little sweeter but not all that much so. They both also grow in similar climates during peak summer – and I’m a firm believer in the old adage “what grows together goes together.”
Because peaches and tomatoes are both acidic, they both pair well with things that are rich and creamy. Think about the pairing of peaches with sweet cream and tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, and you’ll see what I mean.
Another thing peaches and tomatoes have in common? At their perfect summer peak, they require very little to make them shine. As a result, this salad is really simple. It relies on really good produce for all the flavor instead of adding a lot of extras for oomph.
These tomatoes are all from my garden, and I’m super obsessed with them. I recommend seeking tomatoes out from a farmers market instead of buying them from the grocery store for the best flavor.
Marinated Peach and Tomato Salad
I actually tried a couple of iterations of this salad before I got the flavors I was after. I knew at baseline I wanted to make a salad with tomatoes, peaches, and fresh mozzarella, and I knew it needed to have very few ingredients.
My first stab at this peach and tomato salad just included the seeded tomatoes and sliced peaches – and the peaches were very ripe. They were mixed with white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt just before serving.
The salad was good, and I would make it again, but it was missing that wow factor. Then I thought about marinating the tomatoes and peaches together with the white balsamic vinegar to really meld all the flavors together. That helped to create the deeper flavors I was looking for, but when I tasted the salad with the mozzarella and basil it was still missing something.
Lucky for all of us, I didn’t throw away the liquid that resulted from marinating the peaches and tomatoes together. That liquid was flavorful and exactly what the salad was missing. I whisked in some olive oil to the marinating liquid and made it into a dressing. And BAM. That was the flavor oomph I was missing.
The marinating liquid for the peaches and tomatoes is just white balsamic vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt. So to make the liquid into a dressing isn’t a far stretch at all. And it imparts a new layer of peach and tomato flavor to the whole salad. All in all, it’s a win.
Marinating the tomatoes and peaches together does take a bit of extra time, but it’s all hands-off. Because the marinade breaks down the fruit a bit, I recommend using sturdier peaches that aren’t as ripe.
To finish off the peach and tomato salad, just add some torn mozzarella and lots of fresh basil (fresh mint would be a good addition too!). Don’t serve this salad cold – it will mute the flavors of the peaches and tomatoes. Room temperature is best for this one!
Marinated Peach and Tomato Salad
Summer peaches and summer tomatoes combine with white balsamic and fresh mozzarella for a not quite sweet and not quite savory perfect summer salad
- 2 large peaches, sliced and quartered
- 2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes seeded
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella torn
- 2 tbsp chopped basil fresh
- Sea salt to garnish
Combine the tomatoes, peaches, white balsamic vinegar, salt, and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Let marinate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the tomatoes and peaches from the marinade draining well. Place onto a serving platter.
Strain any remaining seeds from the marinating liquid using a fine-mesh strainer. Measure 3/4 cup of the strained liquid and add it to a small mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle 1/2 cup olive oil into the marinating liquid whisking constantly to form a dressing.
Add torn mozzarella to the tomatoes and peaches. Drizzle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the dressing over top of the salad. Top with basil, an extra glug of olive oil, and sea salt & serve!
The marinating liquid combined with olive oil creates more dressing than is needed for this recipe. Reserve the extra and use it in place of balsamic dressing in any other salad!