Fresh tomato salad dressing.

You know how perfectly ripe summer tomatoes taste like sunshine? Well, this super easy salad dressing tastes like sunshine times two.

That’s because those perfectly ripe summer tomatoes, chopped and mixed with garlic and herbs, spend some quality time — again — in the sun. That’s right: You simply mix the ingredients for this fresh tomato salad dressing recipe in a big jar and let it sit in the sunshine for a few hours. Delicious, right?

Even better: this easy tomato dressing is super versatile. Use it on salad, for sure. (During my recent tomato-themed class at the Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s, we served this over grilled romaine with shaved Parmesan — AMAZING!) But also on pasta salad. On grilled fish or chicken. As a dip for pita chips or topping for crusty bread.

Make this tomato dressing recipe while those red beauties are perfectly sun-ripened and the afternoons are long and warm. There’ll never be a better time!

sunny day tomato salad dressing

2 large perfectly ripe, right-out-of-the-garden summer tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 clove garlic, smashed with a pinch of salt to make a paste
2 Tbsp. (packed) chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
pinch of sugar
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine everything together in a lidded glass jar or bottle; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cap the container and place it in a sunny spot [like, I dunno, in your kitchen herb garden?] for 4 or 5 hours. Dressing can be refrigerated, but be sure to serve it at room temperature.

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