Fresh Tomato Salad is enjoyed year round. Whether using grape, cherry or Roma tomatoes pairing juicy tomatoes with a simple marinade makes for an enjoyable dish.
Seriously, is there any better time than Summer with all the fresh vegetables and fruit?
Summer salads, how I adore them so much. Fresh vegetables are always perfect for barbecues, parties and every day at home. My Instant Pot Tomato Salad will cool off the hottest of days and have your taste buds dancing. The juicy pop of grape tomatoes in your mouth and the light crunch of carrots and red onions are a party in a bowl.
When using olive oil in a salad, make sure to use the best you can afford. I use a variety of brands depending on what I am cooking. Here are the extra virgin olive oils I like best:
What is Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
- For Italian, I enjoy the Kasandrinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil brand.
- There are a couple of Greek olive oils I enjoy. One is Corto TRULY Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the other is Stamatopolous & Sons Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Lastly, I like this homegrown California olive oil called Ellora Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Whichever olive oil you choose, make sure that it is 100% olive oil as many are cut with another type of oil.
Very important to this recipe. You must bake a loaf of my Instant Pot No Knead Bread (Dutch Oven) or a crusty loaf of my Country Sourdough Bread Old World Style. You are going to totally want to slurp up all that delicious marinade between bites of tomato salad.
My Tomato Salad recipe contains one ingredient not usually found in fresh tomato salads. It is an ingredient, which generally needs a couple of days to marinate, but my method will show you how to marinate the carrots in just a few minutes time! This way, you can enjoy your tomato salad right away!
Can I Use a Sugar Substitutes?
A beautiful summer salad which pairs so nicely with a tomato salad is my Low Carb Avocado Chicken Salad [Instant Pot]. The combination of the avocado, chicken with a bit of marinated tomatoes is a flavor explosion in the mouth.
While I love fresh and crunchy carrots and onions, Ed prefers his cooked. We seem to differ on veggies quite a bit. I prefer mine with some snap and Ed likes his soft. We even disagree on taco shells. When I make Pressure Cooker Drive Thru Tacos [Instant Pot] I prefer the crunchy taco shell and Ed’s prefers the soft shell. I see a pattern.
Do I have to Blanch the Carrots?
- No. You can simply mix up all the marinade ingredients and pour it over the sliced carrots and place them in a container for a few hours.
- The carrots will be hard and crunchy, which is fine.
- The blanching just takes off the raw edge and allows the flavor to be absorbed.
So that both of us could enjoy this Fresh Tomato Salad I decided to do a quick blanche using the Instant Pot, Mealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker which will quickly marinate the carrots and allow the marinade to sink into the carrots and soften them a bit.
Pro Tip: The only reason for adding the carrots into the pressure cooker prior to cooking with the marinade is for infusing the marinade into the carrots and softening them a bit without having to marinate for a couple of days in the fridge. The carrots will still absorb the marinade if put into the hot marinade after pressure cooking.
If it were just me, I would add the carrots into the hot marinade AFTER releasing pressure as I prefer a firmer bite to the carrot. Either way, adding the carrots before and pressure cooking or adding them to the hot marinade, the flavorful herb marinade will be infused into the carrots and make them incredibly delicious. Note, that if you do pressure cook the carrots with the marinade, by the time the carrots cool down, they will firm up a bit, so you won’t have a mushy carrot, just a softer carrot.
Raw red onions have a slightly milder flavor when raw and why I like to use them in recipes where they are not cooked. Besides, they have a higher lever of antioxidants. I’ve also been known to use shallots in my tomato salad recipe too.
Why Blanch Onions?
- It helps to take the completely raw taste out of the onions, while still keeping them firm and crunchy.
Raw onions tend to cause some people issues, whether it be indigestion, a bitter flavor and bad breath.
If you like raw onions, you can skip this step.
One of our favorite main courses to have along side the fresh tomato salad is to make Instant Pot Sloppy Joes (Pressure Cooker)! It just goes so well together, try it and you will be so happy.
Can I Slice the Onions Instead of Dicing?
- Good question and simple answer. Yes. It is YOUR tomato salad and you can make any kind of changes you like.
Since the onions are added to the hot marinade to absorb the flavor, the heat is going to soften them up as well. As I like the onions to have a bit of a bite, I dice them. If you prefer your onions to be more cooked, then slicing them thin will do the trick.
Alternatively, you can also just toss sliced or diced raw onions right on top of the tomatoes and mix them in with the marinade.
Pro Tip: By adding the diced onions in the hot marinade, the onions will quickly absorb the flavor. This eliminates the raw bitter bite of an onion and makes the onion a bit more mild and full of flavor without marinating for two days in the refrigerator.
Do you like onions? You MUST make my Pressure Cooker Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy recipe then. Seriously, the best Salisbury steak you will ever have.
Colorful tomatoes make the Fresh Tomato Salad look so enticing.
What Kind of Tomatoes for Tomato Salad?
- We love to use grape tomatoes because of the tasty firm bite, the shape and the pretty colors.
- Cherry tomatoes are wonderful too and come in colors, which makes a really pretty presentation.
As the type of good tomatoes vary from season to season, please use whatever tomatoes are the best at the time you want to make the tomato salad.
Pro Tip: If using Plum or Italians tomatoes, Beefsteak or other types of tomatoes, make sure they are very firm. Cut them into bite size chunks.
Okay, so here is a treat. Cook up my New York Style Pizza Dough and add a big scoop of this Fresh Tomato Salad on top. Yummy!
Grape tomatoes and Cherry tomatoes to me are like eating candy. I love using a variety of colors and shapes.
Can Fresh Tomato Salad Be Made In Advance?
Sure. If making the salad the day before you plan on eating your tomato salad, place the tomatoes into a large container with a lid.
Place the salad with the marinade into the refrigerator until ready to use.
If you are taking the salad to a barbecue or pot luck, I highly recommend getting this Pyrex Easy Grab Casserole Dish. It’s glass and see through, so the guests can easily see all the colors of the tomatoes from across the room. In addition, it’s a pretty piece and a two pack is only a few dollars more. Even if staying home, this casserole dish is just plain pretty and a great size.
If you like cilantro, it adds another layer of flavor and looks so pretty mixed into the salad.
Watch the video below as I walk you through every step and detail of this recipe. I’ve given you a ton of information above, but sometimes a live visual of the process helps so you can follow along. I have my own cooking show on my YouTube Channel, so be sure to check it out and subscribe!
Watch my video and then scroll to the bottom for the printable recipe card.
Tips and Tricks for Instant Pot Fresh Tomato Salad
- Use red onions or shallots over yellow/brown onions for a milder flavor.
- Cool down the marinade as quickly as possible, so that the carrots and onions do not lose their firmness and become too soft.
- If you do not want to use a pressure cooker to marinate the veggies, add the marinade with the carrots and onions to a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for about two days, so that the veggies will marinate.
Oooooh, it’s so good, it’s so good, it’s so good, it’s sooooo good…..
Are you ready to make Instant Pot Fresh Tomato Salad? Let’s get going then!
More Summer Salads to Make:
- Claim Jumper Green Pea Salad
- Asian Crunchy Noodle Salad with Peanut Butter Dressing
- Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- Instant Pot Best Macaroni Salad Recipe
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot, Mealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker
- J.A. Henckels Classic 8 inch Chef’s Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk– a MUST have, probably my most used utensil
- Stainless Steel Baking Rack
- Pyrex Easy Grab 2 Quart Glass Casserole Dish
Caring is sharing! If you would like to support This Old Gal, please share this recipe on Social Media, so that I can continue to bring you more wonderful recipes!
If you share a picture of something you make from our blog, tag it with #thisoldgalcooks so we can see it. We might feature it on Instagram! It makes my day when I see you’ve made one of our recipes!
Here is your handy printable recipe:
- 1 large Carrot sliced thin
- 2 ounces Red Onion diced medium
- 1.5 pounds Grape Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes (any color)
- Add Italian seasoning, salt, oil and vinegar to pressure cooker cooking pot.
- Peel and slice carrots into 1/4" slices and add to cooking pot. (If a firmer carrot is preferred, slice the carrots thinner and add the carrot slices to the hot marinade after pressure cooking.)
- Lock on lid and close pressure valve. Cook at high pressure for "0" minutes. This is not a typo, ZERO is correct.
- When beep sounds, carefully and with a jiggling action, remove the pressure right away.
- Remove lid from Instant Pot or pressure cooker and remove cooking pot from the base.
- Mix the diced onions into the marinade and set cooking pot on wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes.
- Alternatively, pour the marinade into a large measuring cup and place on wire baking rack to cool.
- While marinade is cooling, wash and slice tomatoes lengthwise and place into a serving bowl.
- Once cooled, pour marinade with carrots and onions over sliced tomatoes and mix through.
- Place serving bowl into refrigerator until ready to serve.