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Recipes » Side Dishes » Jamie Oliver’s ‘Mothership’ Tomato Salad

Jamie Oliver’s ‘Mothership’ Tomato Salad

I’ve made many versions of tomato salad over the years, but I stopped experimenting when I found this one by Jamie Oliver. I have adapted this slightly from Jamie’s original recipe because I have modified steps to increase the intensity of the herbs.

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All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

If you need an idea for a ‘bring a dish’ party, try Jamie Oliver’s ‘Mothership’ Tomato Salad. I can guarantee that not only will you and your salad bowl be a hit, but party-goers will be asking you for this recipe.

Have you ever wandered a Farmers Market? Vendor after vendor of wonderful fresh vegetables and fruits, single batch specialty cheeses made from the milk of local goats and sheep, pots of herbs for you to plant at home, local artisanal producers of soaps and jewelry and fabric goods. I am a huge proponent of fresh, but especially of local. Jamie Oliver’s ‘Mothership’ Tomato Salad makes fantastic use of fresh and of local.

Do You Have What’s Needed To Make Jamie Oliver’s Mothership Tomato Salad? Check The List!

ripe tomatoes, all sizes, all colors
sea salt
black pepper
fresh oregano flowers and/or leaves
fresh basil leaves
Balsamic vinegar
olive oil
fresh garlic
red pepper flakes

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Why Do I Carry This Recipe In My Wallet?

Back in New Jersey, I’d day trip events listed in local visitor guides, and try to work in stops to the independent farmers with roadside stands. You see, I carried this recipe scribbled on an envelope flap with me in case I came across good tomatoes.

Many Jersey stands were on the honor system, and so you’d tuck your cash into the little box left out alongside the farmers best produce, and make your selection. There was even one roadside stand that featured fresh baked pies and brown eggs. Seriously, fresh and with love, who could pass this up?

Charleston, too has a Farmers Market. Every Saturday, rain or shine. Going to walk and browse is one thing, but going to buy with specific recipes to make is another. And more recently, I started a home garden. A little plot of dirt that with some help from experts, I was able to perfect without too much fuss.

Jamie Oliver’s ‘Mothership’ Tomato Salad is bright and super fresh and happens to be one of those recipes. I’ve made many versions of tomato salad over the years, but I stopped experimenting when I found this one by Jamie Oliver. It is without argument, the absolute best.

If you want to make it a meal, consider using a ball of fresh Burrata with cream as the centerpiece, or a handful of toasted pine nuts or crumbled Feta sprinkled over top, and of course a hunk of crusty baguette to mop up the juices. Unreal…

In addition to the dried oregano flowers, I have chosen to add fresh basil. Serve as a side salad to barbecued chicken drumsticks or burgers on the grill. This salad is a texturally beautiful accompaniment to any homemade potato salad as well. If you want to make it a meal, consider using a ball of fresh Burrata with cream as the centerpiece, or a handful of toasted pine nuts or crumbled Feta sprinkled over top, and of course a hunk of crusty baguette to mop up the juices. Unreal…

A plate of food on a table, with Salad and Tomato
A plate full of food, with Salad and Tomato

Jamie Oliver’s “Mothership” Tomato Salad

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
I've made many versions of tomato salad over the years, but I stopped experimenting when I found this one by Jamie Oliver.
 
4.85 from 32 votes
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time 15 mins
Inactive Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 414 kcal

Ingredients
 

Ingredients for Jamie Oliver's 'Mothership' Tomato Salad

  • 2-ish pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, different shapes and colors
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful fresh oregano stems, young green but not woody parts
  • 8 to 10 whole fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup quality olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions
 

For the Tomatoes

  • There are two things to remember in this recipe. The first is that you should try to get a mixture of different, tasty, tomatoes in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Second, the flavor is brought out by salting the tomatoes, so don't skip this step. Salting leaves you with really intensely flavored tomatoes. Depending on the size of your tomatoes, slice some in half, some into quarters and others into uneven chunks. Immediately this will give you the beginnings of a tomato salad that's really gorgeous to look at and to eat.
    A plate of food, with Tomato
  • Put the tomatoes into a colander and season with a good pinch of sea salt. Use your hands to give them a good toss and coat the cut surfaces with the salt. After about 20 to 30 minutes, rinse gently and thoroughly under cool tap water and turn out onto paper toweling to drain a bit.
     

For the Dressing

  • In Jamie's original recipe, he calls for dried flowering oregano because of the flavor it lends, but dried flowering oregano and plain dried oregano are very different. Dried flowering may be difficult to find (I've created text links and via the photo below for purchase through Amazon), so I oftentimes use fresh oregano, leaves as well as stems, but just young green stems, no woody parts; I too, am going for an intense flavor profile here.
  • Make a dressing in a mini chef prep or blender using the fresh oregano, 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar, 3/4 Extra-virgin olive oil, the garlic, the black pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Zing everything up until nicely smooth, and VERY aromatic.
  • Transfer the now somewhat drained and dried tomatoes into a large bowl. Pour the oregano dressing over the mixture and toss well. This is where I like to let the herbs and tomatoes 'do their thing,' and hang out on the counter for several hours, covered with plastic wrap, and marry their flavors.
    A plate of food on a table

The Assembly

  • Turn marinated tomatoes out on to a rimmed serving platter. Garnish with basil leaves. If desired, add fresh mozzarella or Burrata cream, crumbled Feta, or even toasted pine nuts.
     

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingsCalories: 414kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 2gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 16mgPotassium: 555mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1931IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
Keyword easy lunch recipes, fresh, healthy, Jamie Oliver, lunch, no cook, quick, salad, side dish, summer, tomato, vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

    1. Thanks for visiting NEA, Alex, and thanks for checking out this recipe! Honestly, it’s among my top 5 recipes and if I could thank Jamie Oliver in person for making me love ‘the tomato’ any more than I already do, I would!

    1. ‘Heavenly’ is a fantastic way to describe this tomato salad, Kat. It’s one of those “must try” recipes for sure!

  1. Just love this salad, it will be delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday, 552 and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen5 stars

  2. Thank you very much for posting this.
    Have made this many times now albeit substituting fresh oregano for a tablespoon of dried and balsamic for the juice of a very small lemon.
    The only downside whilst eating is wishing I had more tomatoes to begin with as I could easliy double this recipe just to feed one! X5 stars

    1. SW, have you ever watched the EARLY DAYS episode where he first made his Mothership salad? The tomatoes he used were positively jewel-like. I too, use dried oregano when I have to, especially the dried flowers if I have it on hand. Honestly, Jamie is my hero and has been for decades. He makes food preparation seem less scary and he influenced me in my decision to blog about recipes very much. x – Jenny