Fresh Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar


03 Sep Fresh Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar

I can’t believe I didn’t think of half the tomato dishes people suggested yesterday, especially since Summer Fest ended with tomatoes. Given my mental lapse, I’m quite surprised how polite you all were with your suggestions. Not one of you put “Doh!” in your answer or called me names.

Well, I’ll do it for you.

Doh! What sort of Idiot With The IQ of a Kumquat can’t come up with sliced tomatoes with oil and vinegar? Or tomato soup? Or salsa? Or tomato sauce? Thanks to the no-nonsense advice from Former Chef, I enjoyed a plate of vine-ripe tomatoes while the ketchup simmered. (Ketchup recipe later, with a bit of a story that includes “Doh! What sort of Idiot With The IQ of a Kumquat…)

The irony? My mom serves a version of this when we have a corn roast. The only difference? She uses red wine vinegar.

To get the shot before my willpower weakened, I grabbed a plain old white kitchen plate. I thought it would show off the red. And it does…

Sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and herbs -

Two frames in I realized these fleeting summer fresh tomatoes were worthy of My Birthday Dish. A quick re-plate and…

Ta da!

Sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and herbs —

Okay, this isn’t haute cuisine, but if I’m using my very own tomatoes with the last drops of my 25-year-old balsamic vinegar I might as well pull out the Fancy Plate and honour the tomatoes appropriately.

Sure, they’re just sliced tomatoes with a bit of oil, vinegar and herbs, but they do look nice thanks to Mother Nature and a sharp knife.

Sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and herbs —

Now, were these the Best Tomatoes Ever? No. They were flavourful and firm, but they aren’t in the league with the heirloom tomatoes last summer that made me want to grow these blasted nightshades in the first place.

This dish requires no elaborate equipment or culinary talent. No one will praise you for your gastronomic genius, but if the tomatoes are good, you’ll hear words like “delicious”, “wonderful” and “just what I was waiting for all summer.”

Sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and herbs -

I’ll give you the “recipe” but really, it’s a bit like giving you detailed instructions for buttered toast.

I used cilantro, because that’s my favourite, but basil or lemon thyme are wonderful too. I was out of Parmesan, but think it’s a perfect finish.

And to think, my maternal grandfather used to eat fresh sliced tomatoes sprinkled with sugar! What do you put on your tomatoes?


Fresh Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Prep / inactive time: 
Total time: 
  • fresh ripe tomatoes, washed and sliced
  • good quality olive oil
  • good quality balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • fresh cilantro, basil or lemon thyme
  • fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
  1. Place sliced tomatoes on a plate so they aren't overlapping too much.
  2. Drizzle with oil and vinegar.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
  5. Sprinkle with freshly grated cheese, if using.

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No Comments
  • Kitchen Goddess
    Posted at 09:21h, 04 September Reply

    Kumquat IQ and buttered toast instructions; funny. While I don't have enough sun in my back yard to grow even potted 'matoes, I can eat a barrelful with the best of 'em. My recipe? Simple like yours, but I substitute Greek Feta (saltier than Danish) or any kind of quality goat cheese and fresh basil. Special treat: when the goat cheese dissolves into the balsamic vinaigrette…you take a slab of fresh baguette, slop it up and shovel it in your face!!!

  • Katerina
    Posted at 10:08h, 04 September Reply

    You grew them yourself, and that is such an accomplishment! Next year you just need to try growing a different variety until you find the best ones.

  • Sophie
    Posted at 11:54h, 04 September Reply

    I love simple dishes as this. It is all about excellent ingredients & getting out of them the best flavour!!

    You can always present mto me this kind of lovely food!

  • Debbie
    Posted at 12:39h, 04 September Reply

    It's my brothers birthdays this weekend! (twins)
    I offered to bring the tomato and bocancini dish. Here it is:
    Sliced tomatoes alternating with sliced bocancini cheese. Arranged nicely on a plate. Sprinke with freshly chopped basil. Drizzle with balsamic dressing. That's it. Delicious!

  • Puglette
    Posted at 14:11h, 04 September Reply

    yum! i love tomatoes!! as i said yesterday, plain and fresh in the garden works for me. but i do enjoy a good sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and maybe a small dollop of mayo or a bit of thick bleu cheese dressing i serve sliced tomatoes as a side dish very often, i always eat the ends with the salt and pepper as the cooks treat. i had a yummy tomato sandwich for lunch the other day…i may just have another today!

  • Cookie
    Posted at 18:06h, 04 September Reply

    I totally wanna try growing my own tomatoes! They look so fresh. I love simple recipes that are yummy!

    Posted at 09:35h, 05 September Reply

    Nice pictures Charmian-great angle shots! :)
    I love a caprese salad this time of year with fresh home-grown garden tomatoes bursting with aromatic just-picked basil! Add a grainy crusty roll and wow!
    Love your blog!

    p.s. Did I use enough adjectives? lol

  • Cari Snell
    Posted at 22:16h, 05 September Reply

    Charmian! I am having problems with my email and not too sure if you received a note I sent to you so I am going this route. FYI you were our August winner for allowing us to use your Mango Chutney Chicken recipe on Can you email me at with an address I can mail your peelers too? Thanks!

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 10:07h, 06 September Reply

    I made a salad the other day with pasta, chopped tomatoes, goat cheese, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and basil. MMM. But on a daily basis we eat 'maters with some salt sprinkled on top. Sometimes on toast with mayo.

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 10:07h, 06 September Reply

    I made a salad the other day with pasta, chopped tomatoes, goat cheese, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and basil. MMM. But on a daily basis we eat 'maters with some salt sprinkled on top. Sometimes on toast with mayo.

  • hiro
    Posted at 21:38h, 06 September Reply

    Nice to meet you.

    I was going to paste the link without permission because I had very felt the interest for your blog.

    Please link me with the blog if it is good.


  • Sophie
    Posted at 03:25h, 07 September Reply

    I just gave you an award!! Please come over @ my blog & pick it up!!
    Why? You can read it over there!

  • Angelique from Bitchin' Lifestyle
    Posted at 13:30h, 10 September Reply

    Tomatoes from the garden are by far the best. They just taste better! This is a great recipe, I do it all the time… its simple and tastes great!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 13:52h, 12 September Reply

    I've been away and just got back to your great comments. Sorry I'm late, but here goes:

    Kitchen Goddess, I love goat cheese. Great idea. And "shovel" is the only verb to use!

    Katerina, I'm hoping to branch into more varieties next year, too! Heirloom and beefsteak for sure!

    Sophie, you're so right. Simple is best when the ingredients are this good. Can't do this mid-winter. And thanks also for the award. I did drop by your blog to see why. I'm so glad you like my writing as well as the recipes.

    Debbie, I didn't know you had a twin brother. I hope he liked the dish. It's one of my faves! And HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY.

    Puglette, mayo? Of course! I'm not a big mayo fan, but what's a fresh tomato sandwich without some mayonnaise? Perfect call.

    Cookie, I encourage you to try your own tomatoes, but mine were a total fluke this year. I really shouldn't have produced anything worth eating since I neglected the whole patch. Life isn't fair and in this case, I won when I should have lost.

    Francesca, thanks for the kind words on the photos. For those who don't know, Francesca is quite the photographer and compliments from her are high praise indeed!

    Cari – I won?! Wonderful. I didn't even know I was entered. Guess that's good karma at work. Thanks for letting me know.

    Cheryl A, oh, I wish I lived closer to drop by on you for dinner…

    Hiro, thanks for dropping by. I'm so glad you like my blog and appreciate you taking the time to comment.

    Angelique, seeing as you're Italian, your approval means a LOT! Wish I could share these tomatoes with you, but my guess is you grow them just as good, if not better!

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