Salade de Tomates et Fromage #ProgressiveEats

We traveled to France for our April Progressive Eats’ dinner party and this simple Salade de Tomates et Fromage was my contribution. Composed of perfectly ripe tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil and a balsamic vinaigrette, I took a cue from the French and used top notch ingredients which is imperative for the most delicious results.

Salade de Tomates et Fromage | a simple French salad of juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil

Heirloom Tomatoes and Buffalo Mozzarella

I dream of this sort of tomato and mozzarella salad all winter when eyeing those piles of hard, pale tomatoes in the produce department. It’s a long wait till nearly July to get those juicy homegrown or farmers’ market gems, though some of the upscale markets will have heirloom tomatoes before then if you’re lucky. And if you do find some of those coveted heirlooms, hunt down some buffalo mozzarella—softer and creamier than the more common cow’s milk version. Worth the splurge once in a while.  And make sure to use the best balsamic vinegar you can find. The well aged balsamic I use is sweet and syrupy. You may want to add a bit of sugar to your vinaigrette if you don’t have access to a fine vinegar, though the French will also eat this salad with just a drizzle of red wine vinegar, so that’s another option.

Salade de Tomates et Fromage | a simple French salad of juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil

French or Italian?

I ate my weight in Caprese salads when in Italy a few years ago, but then two summers ago, I found the same combination of ingredients on numerous French menus. Over the past few years, I’ve made myriad French salads as I cooked my way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, and this salad didn’t ring a bell. But then I remembered Dorie’s Mozzarella, Tomato and Strawberry Salad and realized it was just another twist on this winning combination of ingredients. I’ve also added kalamata olives and served these tomatoes over a bed of spinach. The options are endless. But remember my advice; with so few ingredients, do not make this tomato salad without the freshest, best quality ingredients you can find. Bon appetit!

Salade de Tomates et Fromage | a simple French salad of juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil


Join us for the Flavors of France!



  • French Carrot Salad from Stetted
  • Salade de Tomates et Fromage from That Skinny Chick Can Bake


Main Course





Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is the Flavors of France and is hosted by Jane Bonacci who blogs at The Heritage Cook. Join us and make something unique and delicious!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

Progressive Eats

Salade de Tomates et Fromage | a simple French salad of juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil

Salade de Tomates et Fromage
Prep time
Total time
A simple salad found throughout France made of the freshest ripe tomatoes you can find and fresh mozzarella
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: French
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, different colors and sizes preferable
  • Two balls of fresh buffalo mozzarella (if available) or one ball plus some bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
  • 2-4 tablespoons small fresh basil leaves or chopped basil
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup best quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional if balsamic isn't well aged
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Slice tomatoes and arrange on a platter. Slice the mozzarella and place slices (or bocconcini) over tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, sugar if using, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking till emulsified. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad before serving.


  1. Classic and perfect. What gorgeous tomatoes, too, Liz!

  2. We ate this salad all over Italy as well. Your version looks so pretty with the heirloom tomatoes.

  3. Amazing! What a bright and light salad for the spring!

  4. I eat a version of this salad at least several times a week during the summer. You’re definitely right about needing top notch ingredients, Liz. This salad shines with them and without, well don’t bother. There’s such a difference between buffalo mozzarella and cow’s milk. The buffalo version is such a revelation – truly spectacular. When I want to treat myself, I buy it from Trader Joe’s or Costco – not too expensive that way and the star of any dish it is included in!

  5. Spectacular! What I love about this salad is that the ingredients are the heroes. Classy and drop dead gorgeous plate of salad!

  6. This is the kind of salad I crave all winter long too – what a simply gorgeous platter!

  7. I would eat that in about 5 seconds FLAT

  8. Liz, I LOVE heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella together. . this is one thing I could eat everyday for the rest of my life. . MANY years ago I scored an entire box of heirloom tomatoes from a friend, who had a grower. . and I had no idea what to do with them . . I was going to make tomato sauce and then someone was like, what are you talking about?! these are Heirloom Tomatoes! Eat them plain with mozzarella or burrata and balsamic. 🙂

  9. Liz, you have just made my all time favorite salad, the one that I crave all year long. I didn’t care that much for it until I discovered heirloom tomatoes and then Look Out! When we are lucky enough to have enough water, I have numerous tomato plants in my little square of dirt I call my garden. Thank you for sharing this Liz!

  10. I love this easy, flavorful twist of caprese, Liz! The colors are incredible and I bet they’re so tasty, too.

  11. Beautiful and perfect Lizzy!!! Love yours pictures!!!

  12. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    I can’t believe you found those gorgeous tomatoes in April! Amazing:@)

  13. Kumar's Kitchen says:

    This salad is what summer celebrations are about…best,freshest ingredients and a few but important steps for an unforgettable salad…we could easily forsake our lunch and have this every day with a smile,a lovely dish and layers of simple,beautiful flavors in every bite,thanks 🙂

  14. Lizzy,
    I love tomatoes and mozzarella. This is definitely an Italian favorite.

  15. This looks so fresh and delicious! Perfect for Spring!

  16. So pretty!

  17. I can’t wait to make this gorgeous salad once my tomatoes are ripe! Perfection!

  18. This is my kind of salad. Love all those different kinds of tomatoes!

  19. You’re right, Liz. This sort of salad needs the best ingredients to let the flavors shine….Looks like you chose the prettiest ones, too!

  20. We’re planting our tomatoes this weekend. Can’t wait to get a variety of tomatoes so I can start making salads like this a nightly affair. Such a beautiful plate of goodness!

  21. Snap, I ate something similar recently in a restaurant, and recreated it at home. Lovely tomatoes Liz xoxo

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