This Vidalia Onion & Tomato-Basil Salad recipe pairs the combination of grape tomatoes and basil with Georgia sweet onions marinated in store-bought Italian salad dressing.
The buying season for Georgia-grown Vidalias is typically from April to early August. Only 20 counties in southern Georgia are sanctioned to grow these sweet onions. The mild winters, lots of rain, and low sulfuric acid in the soil make them uniquely sweet.
In the summer, I pick the grape tomatoes and basil from my garden.
We Southerners know that once the Georgia Department of Agriculture sets the date for the first day of shipping these babies, we start watching for them in our local stores to make our favorite sweet onion recipes... or your husband brings home a 10 lb bag from the Civitans fundraiser!
This is one of those super simple recipes you will want to make several times this summer before the Vidalia onion season comes and goes.
How can I serve this salad?
I make it as a side salad, pile it on a hamburger, or top a summer chopped salad with it.
How do I make it?
It's as simple as cutting grape tomatoes in half and cutting a Vidalia onion into slivers and marinating it in your favorite Italian or balsamic bottled salad dressing, then tossing in some fragrant tiny basil leaves. That's it!
Can I use another salad dressing?
Yes. For the salad in this picture, I used Ken's Steak House Lite Northern Italian with Basil & Romano Dressing & Marinade.
I'm partial to the flavor of a balsamic vinaigrette adds to the salad, but keep in mind it will discolor the tomatoes and onion.
Another good choice is a Greek salad dressing and toss in some feta cheese and olives.
The flavors blend best when the salad marinates at least a few hours but mighty tasty when you just toss together and serve immediately.
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Vidalia Onion Tomato Salad
- 1 10 oz container grape tomatoes (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 of one small Vidalia onion
- 1/2 cup good quality Italian salad dressing (such as Ken's Steak House Lite Northern Italian with Basil and Romano)
- 2 tablespoons tiny basil leaves or chopped basil
- Wash tomatoes and cut in half.
- Cut onion into slivers by cutting vertically from top to bottom.
- In a medium bowl, toss together tomato, onion, and salad dressing. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Stir in basil and serve.