Summer Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad


Just the other day after a notably chilly dog walking session, I was just thinking that summer was gone. I didn’t really want to say it out loud because I was afraid I would jinx it, but I think I might have murmured something to that effect to the husband. Apparently that was all it took because I see that the temperature will be shooting back up to 85° F (29° C) on Wednesday. That doesn’t really seem to be fitting weather for October if you ask me. But I really don’t like summer weather (as I’m sure those who know me have heard before) and was really looking forward to Fall. There are a couple of things I will miss about summer though. No…not the humidity or the rabid mosquitoes (may their wings freeze off soon…), it is the fresh tomatoes, corn and zucchini. We have really enjoyed eating those veggies this summer. In fact, Jay and I actually took a stab at growing our own tomatoes and herbs this year. Yup, we were “plastic farmers”. (ie. we grew our plants in plastic containers on the deck, rather than planted properly in the ground). It was overall pretty successful.


Our cherry tomato plants went wild and gave us all we could eat, that is all we could eat that I managed to pluck off the vine before the birds and chipmunks, who were quite fond of them as well, were able to get at them.

Tomato thief!

Tomato thief!

Luckily I had come across this recipe for Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette in Bon Appetit magazine, so I was somewhat ready for our bumper crop of tomatoes. This Vinaigrette is really delicious and so versatile. The majority of the time that I made it, we tossed it with pasta, feta cheese, fresh basil and chives to make a lovely Summer Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad.


This salad was great warm or room temperature. In fact, I might have seen my husband eat it cold right out of the fridge on the rare occasion that we had any leftovers. But there are lots of other ways to use this vinaigrette, like simply as a tangy salad dressing. Or it is great as a condiment over omelets or grilled steak. We never got tired of it. I certainly will still be making it this winter. Though it won’t be quite as fun using those store-bought tomatoes as it was using the ones we grew ourselves. Make up a batch of this vinaigrette soon and I just bet you’ll be hooked as well!


Summer Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad

recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

serves: 4


  • 8 oz. pasta of your choice (I used Gemelli)
  • 1 batch of Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped


Prepare Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette (without chives). Set aside.

Cook pasta and drain.

Toss Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette and feta cheese with pasta.

Add handful of fresh basil and chives just before serving.

Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon (or more to suit your taste) red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Cut half of cherry tomatoes in half. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add halved and whole tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to release juices, 4-6 minutes. Mash some of the tomatoes with a spoon.

Add 1 Tablespoon vinegar and remaining 2 Tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper and add red pepper flakes if you would like to spice it up a bit!  Serve warm or room temperature; add chives just before serving.

*This vinaigrette can be made (without the chives) 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and stir in chives.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: