Project Description

Red, ripe, plump Jersey & Campari tomatoes and a tomato salad with basil, garlic, celery and celery leavs

Summer Tomato Salad with Juice for Dipping Bread

I know I didn’t appreciate this classic salad when I was a kid, but luckily my taste buds grew into it. I credit most of my success in the kitchen to my mom, but this dish is all dad. I can’t even think of tomato salad without thinking of him. Tomatoes were hands down his favorite food and he passed that love onto me while I wasn’t looking. I used to dunk so much bread into the juice of his tomato salad that he had to remind me to actually eat the tomatoes. He also had to add more oil for the rest of the family. The measurements below are guidelines because tomatoes and celery do not come in standard sizes. I always use a generous amount of really good olive oil because it mixes with the insides of the tomatoes to make the most wonderful juice. Sop it up with bread or just bring the bowl to your mouth at the end of the meal and drink it up like you’re a kid slurping sugary cereal milk.

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes (Jersey tomatoes if you can get them), cut into bite size chunks
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half (they add tremendous flavor even if you don’t eat them)
  • 2 stalks of celery from the inner part of the bunch (if possible) leaves included, rough chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 6-10 leaves of basil, torn by hand


  • In a serving bowl add the chopped tomatoes, celery and pieces of garlic
  • Keep the garlic pieces large so you can discard them if you do not want to eat them
  • Dress with enough olive oil to create a juice that you can dip bread into
  • Salt to your taste
  • Add fresh basil
  • Serve with crusty Italian bread