Try this summer-fresh Russian tomato salad

This make ahead meal is great for your late summer tomatoes.

This was one of my go-to meals from my favorite restaurant when I lived in Moscow. Russia isn’t well known for being overly vegetarian friendly, but there are some killer salads and veggies around the city.

This dish is from a restaurant called Cafe Margarita about midway between the Arbat and Tverskoy districts–one of the few vegetarian dishes I found. It’s tough to be the only vegetarian in a country who eats meat. That’s probably why I was so grateful to Cafe Margarita and never forgot this salad. 

This dish is traditionally made with a farmer’s cheese called “tvorog” (творог), but I’ve used homemade yogurt cheese, which is similar, or cottage cheese when I have it on hand.

The secret to this tomato salad is the fresh summer tomato and fresh herbs. If you don’t want to stuff the tomatoes like I’ve done, you can dice up a bunch of tomatoes and top it with the cheese mixture instead.


  • tomatoes
  • Farmer’s cheese (about 1/4 cup per tomato)
  • salt to taste
  • onion or green onion (about a tablespoon per tomato)
  • cilantro (about a teaspoon per tomato)
  • garlic
  • sprigs of dill for garnish


  1. Core the tomatoes and scrape out the insides, but do not throw them away. Chop the core and top up, tossing only the stem. Place them in a bowl along with the juice from the tomato.
  2. Crumble the farmers cheese, and add in the onion and herbs.
  3. Blend all ingredients and salt to taste.
  4. Stuff the tomatoes with the cheese mixture.
  5. Garnish with dill and enjoy!

This is wonderful. I love it. You can make this ahead and stack it in tupperware for the next couple days, and have a healthy school lunch ready for you!