For this salad, make sure you use lovely ripe tomatoes. Pick bright red ones that smell delicious and come away from the stalks easily. Choose different sizes and colors if they’re available, and just chop them up, leaving any smaller ones whole.


  • If you put hard unripe tomatoes in the fridge they will stay hard and unripe, they are best stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight, that way they will taste their best when you want to use them.
  • In my opinion the most important part of a salad is the dressing – don’t drown them in dressing, though – remember, a little goes a long way – and always dress them at the last minute before serving.
  • The best time to make this salad is during the summer months, when tomatoes are at their prime. Produce is less expensive when it’s in season and there’s nothing better than juicy ripe tomatoes.



Stage 1

  • Cut the larger tomatoes into wedges, halve the grape or cherry tomatoes, and leave the smaller ones whole.
  • Put them into a bowl with the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Toss well to coat all the tomatoes with the dressing.
  • Pick the leaves off the basil and scatter them over the salad. Season with the salt and pepper.

Stage 2

  • Put a large handful of black olives on a clean surface and press down on them with the palm of your hand to remove the pits.
  • Discard the pits and add the olives to the salad.
  • Mix up well in a bowl before serving on plates.

Stage 3

  • Drain and rinse a 15-ounce can of cannellini beans in a colander and add to the tomato salad. Mix up well to coat everything in the dressing.

Stage 4

  • Drain a small can of tuna, break the fish into small flakes or chunks, and scatter over the salad.


Serving suggestions:

As a side dish, this would work with anything off the grill. If you make it to stage 4, it’s a meal in itself.

Tips from the dietitian:

Lycopene is found in tomatoes—studies have shown it’s a potent antioxidant that lowers cholesterol and protects against heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. They also contain vitamins A, C and E. Serve this salad with a 100% whole wheat pita or your favorite whole grain bread for a balanced plate. It tastes good the next day so take it with you for lunch. The dish is an excellent source of fiber so you’ll stay satisfied longer.

Food safety:
Make sure you cover and refrigerate any of your leftover food – bacteria can grow when food is not stored properly.

hServes 4

Stage 1

¾ pound of ripe grape or cherry, vine, and regular tomatoes

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

a few sprigs of fresh basil

¼ tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Stage 2

1/4 cup black olives

Stage 3

A 15-ounce can of cannellini beans

Stage 4

A small can or jar of light tuna packed in water




Cutting board

Large bowl

Large spoon

Measuring spoons

Can Opener