Ina Garten's Go-To Tomato Salad For When It's Just Too Hot To Cook

We probably don't need to share the many reasons why cooking when it's hot outside is the absolute worst. To save yourself from overheating in the kitchen and spending those valuable sun-soaked afternoons in front of the stove, many agree that heat-free meals are a must during summer. But, beyond leafy greens and the tasty (but, slightly overplayed) caprese, Ina Garten has just the recipe for when the heat makes cooking a challenge. Highlighting the greatness of a summer tomato, the cookbook author shares an elegant, yet effortless salad.

Ultra juicy and wonderfully sweet, the fruit is delicious on its own. However, adding some equally flavorful and high-quality ingredients can take the produce to the next level — something that Garten knows all too well. Taking to Instagram, the Barefoot Contesssa shared a tomato salad to rival all the others as part of her "Too Hot to Cook" series.

Allowing just-picked produce to speak for itself, Garten's Heirloom Tomato & Blue Cheese Salad is sure to excite tastebuds thanks to the help of a few ingredients that make the dish all the more spectacular.

Heirloom tomatoes and Roquefort join forces

Working with a mixture of sliced (red, yellow, and green) heirlooms and halved cherry tomatoes, as explained on Barefoot Contessa, Garten recommends arranging the produce on a dish before layering chunks of blue-veined Roquefort and several fresh basil leaves on top. A balancing act between the sweetness of the fruit and the funk of the cheese, the delicately acidic tomatoes meet their match with the creamy Roquefort. Naturally, the pairing requires little other than a simple dressing made of olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a dash of cracked black pepper.

Developed during the pandemic, much like many other recipes in Garten's cookbook, "Go-To Dinners," the fresh salad is a shining example of how the Barefoot Contessa creates the illusion of luxury without overcomplicating the process.

Although the Heirloom Tomato & Blue Cheese Salad can be served as is, if you're looking for some extra protein, Garten suggests keeping with the no-cook theme and picking up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. Making a balanced and mouth-watering meal has never been easier, but then again, that's to be expected when following any of Garten's recipes.