Here’s a versatile summer tomato salad that takes advantage of the herbs and spring onions that are available at market along with the first tomatoes. Roasted chickpeas and the Lemon-Tahini Vinaigrette give this some umami and texture, making it a filling lunch salad with perhaps a hearty slice of toast. But you could use your favorite vinaigrette and leave out the chickpeas if you want a simple side salad. One note: I add an extra tablespoon of tahini to the vinaigrette recipe when using it in this salad for a little more body.

I pick up the red spring onions at Ghost Island, Morning Glory and other farms, and I give them a super-quick pickling in a bit of lime juice, salt and sugar. For contrast (and because I love all alliums), I also add some caramelized shallots. (Those provide umami, too). I have chives and garlic chives in my garden, so a sprinkle of those makes four alliums in one salad – without even adding garlic! But for my main herb, I use my very favorite Thai basil. I grow that in my garden every year instead of sweet basil as it holds up better, has a wonderful flavor, and pretty flowers. But you could use any basil. Or cilantro or mint if you prefer!

Roast your chickpeas and cook your shallots first for this salad. Make your vinaigrette and “pickle” your red onions. Cut up your tomatoes. And the rest is just combining ingredients.

Serves 6 to 8 as a side (4 as a bigger portion)


  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds small or medium-sized ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 8 ounces Sungolds or other cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 recipe Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup quick-pickled thinly sliced red spring onions or small red onions
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup small Thai basil leaves or ¼ cup cilantro, mint, small sweet basil leaves, or a combination
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (more if you like) from one recipe Lemon-Tahini Vinaigrette for Chopped Salads (make with additional tablespoon of tahini)
  • Chive blossoms, sliced chives or garlic chives for garnish (optional) 


1. Heat 2 to 3 teaspoons of oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until softened and browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the shallots to a paper-towel lined plate.

2. Put the cut tomatoes into a large, wide mixing bowl. Add the roasted chickpeas, the pickled red onions, the browned shallots, most of the herbs (save some small leaves for garnish), and ½ teaspoon salt. Add four tablespoons of vinaigrette and toss the tomato mixture very gently with a silicone spatula or large spoon. (Don’t overmix or tomatoes will fall apart.) Taste and add a little more salt or vinaigrette if desired. Spoon the salad into a wide, shallow serving vessel and garnish with the remaining herbs (and any chive blossoms or chives if you like.) Serve right away.