This refreshing tomato salad recipe with balsamic vinegar is a great and simple dish to savor by itself, or as a side to your favorite proteins. I’s made with chunks of juicy tomatoes, fresh oregano, and topped with croutons. The best part? The bits of grilled Brazilian queijo coalho that add texture and a salty flavor, making this simple salad a real showstopper!
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Brazilian Grilled Cheese – The best part of this Tomato Salad Recipe
This tomato salad recipe with balsamic vinegar is a super simple dish that’s truly elevated by the addition of Brazilian grilled cheese.
If you never tried Queijo Coalho, Brazilian coalho cheese, you need to do so. For those of you who might not know, Queijo Coalho is a salty Brazilian cheese from Northeastern Brazil. But it’s so delicious that it’s popular throughout the whole country.
Similar to Halloumi cheese, Brazilian coalho cheese’s texture is firmer and unique. And because of that, it’s a great cheese for grilling! Queijo coalho is hit in barbecue parties and a must have snack at the beach. Yes, AT THE BEACH! In Brazil, Queijo Coalho is typically served on a kebab sticks by street vendors who sell them everywhere, plain or topped with some oregano.
This tomato salad recipe with balsamic vinegar and queijo coalho will definitely be a delicious addition to your next get together, and certainly a showstopping conversation starter as well!
I hope you love it as much as I do
Tomato Salad Recipe with Balsamic Vinegar Ingredients
The hardest thing about this salad is finding the cheese to be honest. So, here are some substitutions tips:
BEST CHEESE FOR GRILLING:
- Brazilian queijo coalho – of course queijo coalho is my fave, but it can be hard to find, unless you have a Brazilian market near you.
- Halloumi – my favorite substitution to queijo coalho in terms of flavor and texture. I also love that I’ve never had an issue finding it in regular grocery stores in California.
- Queijo Panela / Panela Cheese – This is an inexpensive option, also normally widely available here in southern California. It’s not quite the same as queijo coalho, but its a very good alternative.
Here’s what else you’ll need:
- Fresh tomatoes – I love using heirloom tomatoes because they’re so full of flavor and they come and beautiful colors.
- fresh oregano – I prefer to use fresh oregano because they add a nice pop of color to the dish, but if you can’t find it, dried is fine too.
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Coarse finishing salt (optional, but awesome!) – I love finishing this salad with some coarse finishing salt, such as Maldon sea salt. The big flaky salt is really pretty, but can totally be skipped and subbed for regular kosher salt.
- Croutons – if you don’t want to make your own croutons, just grab some ready made one a t the store and call it a day!
Tips for making Tomato Salad Recipe with Brazilian Grilled Cheese
Make the croutons: I usually use some day or so old bread, and slice it really thin with a mandolin. It helps to freeze the bread a little bit, so it holds its shape better.
Then, mix in the Brazilian sofrito and with the olive oil, red pepper flakes and salt, and brush it over the croutons. Bake a few minutes until they’re done and crispy.
Grill the cheese: Remove the coalho cheese from the package and carefully place it on your hot grill, or a non-stick skillet on stovetop. Grill all sides until they are nice and golden.
Assemble the Tomato Salad: Just cut the tomatoes in chunks, combine with the diced grilled cheese, season it, dress it up and serve!
Here’s Another Salad with Brazilian grilled cheese:
More Brazilian Salad Recipes to try:
Brazilian Tomato Salad Recipe with Balsamic Vinegar
For the Croutons
- 1/4 baguette sliced thin
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes or more if you prefer
- 1 tsp brazilian sofrito or 2 garlic cloves minced
- Pinch of salt
For the Salad
- 2 sticks of queijo coalho grilled and cut into cubes
- 2 heirloom tomatoes chunked
- Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
- about a Tbsp of fresh oregano leaves
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Maldon sea salt or kosher salt to taste
For the Croutons
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, pepper flakes, the Brazilian sofrito, salt and give it stir.
- Gently brush the oil mixture on both sides of the baguette slices, then bake for a few mins, until golden brown (about 4-5 mins, depending on your oven).
- Remove from the oven and let it cool.
For the Salad
- Combine cheese and tomatoes in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar to the bowl, and give it a gentle mix, just enough to coat the tomatoes and cheese with the oil and vinegar.
- Move the salad to a serving dish/bowl and finish by sprinkling with maldon salt, pepper, oregano and garnish with the croutons.