It’s pretty safe to say that we all love a classic Caprese salad, but it’s fun to change things up once in a while with a summer salad that doesn’t feel quite so…expected. This Tomato Goat Cheese Salad is an extra-delicious way to switch things!
I first fell for this combination of summer tomatoes and goat cheese back in my restaurant days. One late-August evening, we served a gorgeous stacked salad with sliced heirloom tomato, panko-crusted & pan-fried goat cheese medallions, & a drizzle of thyme-infused honey – the combination of flavors & textures truly blew my mind!
This recipe is a riff on that restaurant dish, but lazy girl-style! Since I don’t have the patience for breading & frying anything on a hot summer night, I’ve deconstructed the components so they’re much easier to prepare – simply slice up juicy summer tomatoes, top them off with fresh goat cheese, & finish it all off with a drizzle of honey baslamic vinegar & crispy garlicky breadcrumbs.
It’s crispy, creamy, juicy, tangy, sweet, & tart all at once, plus it’s a straight-up stunner. I hope you love it as much as we do! ♡
- 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced (see Recipe Notes)
- kosher salt
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- balsamic honey (below)
- crispy garlic breadcrumbs (below)
- for serving, as desired: extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme, ground black pepper, etc.
for the honey balsamic:
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (about 8–10 sprigs)
for the crispy garlic breadcrumbs:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Season the tomatoes: Arrange the heirloom tomatoes in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate or small baking sheet. Season well with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cover with paper towel, patting down so the paper towel comes into contact with the tomatoes, then set aside while you prepare the honey balsamic & crispy garlic breadcrumbs.
- Prepare the honey balsamic: In a small bowl, combine the white balsamic vinegar, honey, & fresh thyme leaves. Whisk to combine well. Set aside.
- Prepare the crispy garlic breadrumbs: Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds – 1 minute. As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, stir in the panko breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring often, until toasted & golden, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat & transfer to a small bowl for serving.
- Assemble the tomato goat cheese salad: Pat any excess moisture off of the tomatoes, then arrange them on a large plate or serving platter. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over top. Drizzle the honey balsamic all over the tomatoes & goat cheese, followed by a generous sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs. Finish the salad with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme leaves, & ground black pepper as desired. Serve immediately alongside any of your favorite summer main dishes. Enjoy!
- Ingredient Notes:
- Heirloom tomatoes: I like to use a combination of larger heirloom tomatoes & bite-sized cherry heirloom tomatoes for a particularly pretty presentation. Slice the larger tomatoes into planks or wedges & halve or quarter the bite-sized tomatoes as desired.
- White balsamic vinegar is a variety of balsamic vinegar that’s a little less caramelly & syrupy than traditional balsamic vinegar – its flavor is a little milder & its color is significantly lighter. I use it here to avoid giving the tomato goat cheese salad a murky appearance, but you can certainly use whatever balsamic vinegar you already have on hand.
- Serving: As written, this recipe yields a large tomato goat cheese salad, suitable for feeding a crowd of 4-6 as an appetizer/side dish or 2-3 as a light lunch or dinner. You can easily halve or double the recipe to feed a smaller or larger crowd, as needed.