Aeolian-Style Summer Salad

Tomatoes are one of my favourite vegetables (yes, fruits) of the summer. A full-flavour, sun-ripened tomato is such a joy, it needs a light touch that lets it shine whilst elevating it to its very best. This Aeolian-style tomato salad recipe from Sicilia by Ben Tish achieves that perfectly, pairing sweet tomatoes with anchovies, capers, oregano, basil, green olives and shallots.

Aeolian-style Summer Salad

Named for the Aeolian Islands just off Sicily’s northeastern coast, this salad is evocative of Sicilian summers spent eating outside.

Read our full review of Sicilia by Ben Tish.

Aeolian-style Summer Salad

Aeolian-style Summer Salad

This dish is all about the tomatoes. It’s hard to perfectly replicate a delicious, fresh salad from Sicily’s Aeolian islands when in the UK, yet we produce many delicious varieties of tomatoes that will stand up well in comparison. I’d use a plum vine or a Bull’s Heart tomato – ensure they are ripe, but not over ripe. I like to use a sweet-sour grape must (saba) for the dressing, which is smoother and fruitier than a vinegar, but an aged balsamic will also do nicely.
Servings 4 servings
Author Ben Tish


  • 10 medium-sized, medium-ripe, sweet red tomatoes (vine-ripened are best), sliced into rounds medium-ripe, sweet red tomatoes (vine-ripened are best), sliced into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons plump capers
  • 2 handfuls of pitted green olives
  • 2 tropea onions or small red onions, finely sliced
  • 6 anchovies in oil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 10 basil leaves, torn

For the vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons saba (grape must) or balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Whisk together the grape must and extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste.
  • To assemble the salad, carefully arrange the tomato slices on a serving plate and sprinkle over the capers, olives, onions, anchovies and herbs. Season well, then drizzle over the vinaigrette.
  • Leave the salad for 5 minutes, so all the flavours come together, before serving.

Nicky loved this salad and served it together with Chilled Green Beans, also from the book.

Aeolian-style tomato salad and Chilled green beans


If you decide to buy this book after reading our content, please consider clicking through our affiliate link, located within the post and in the footnote below.

Kavey Eats received a review copy of Sicilia by Ben Tish from publisher Bloomsbury Absolute. Book photography by Kris Kirkham, our photography by Nicky Bramley. 

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