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Cucumber & Tomato Salad

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of locally grown cucumbers and tomatoes. There’s really nothing better than the crunchy/acidic combination of the two. Today I thought I’d share a couple ways to prepare this scrumptious and healthy dish.

At its most basic, my cucumber and tomato salads consist of cucumber, tomato, green onion, dill and sherry vinaigrette. If I have some feta or goat cheese, I’ll add some in but it’s just as good without.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

A couple of tips:

  • Cucumbers… Always de-seed them! You can do this by first peeling the cucumber and then cutting it in half length-wise. After that take a small spoon and scrape it down the middle of the cucumber to remove the seeds. Once all the seeds are removed, pat the cucumber piece down with a paper towel so that you can remove all the excess moisture. After that I typically cut the half cucumber into 2-3 long pieces and then chop it from there to make smaller diced pieces as you see in the picture.
  • Dill… For the case of salads and salad dressing, dry dill is equivalent to fresh dill. The dill leaves are so small and fine that once it hits any kind of liquid or vinaigrette, it hydrates really well and it’s hard to discern it from fresh dill. This is also another way to make sure you always have plenty of dill on hand. It really is quite a versatile herb.
  • Vinaigrette… I implore you to PLEASE make your own vinaigrettes. Store-bought vinaigrettes are full of sugar and all kinds of ingredients that you don’t need to be eating. My sherry vinaigrette is one of the simplest things to make and it is the best salad dressing ever.  Also, it keeps very well in the fridge so you can make more than what you need and next time, there’s no dressing to make!
  • Once you’ve cut up all of your cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions and whatever else you want to add, it is best to mix in a bowl and add then vinaigrette and then let it sit for about 20 minutes in the fridge to allow it to marinate.  Once the flavors meld, you have a much tastier salad.

Here’s my favorite vinaigrette recipe:

Sherry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 part sherry vinegar
3 parts olive oil (something extra virgin or very light will work just fine)
To taste:  Dijon Mustard, dill, salt and cayenne pepper

Method:

Add all ingredients to a small squirt bottle (you can get them at Sally Beauty Supply for like a dollar and they have the proportion marks on them. Win!) and then shake. Simple. Also, right before each use, shake again to emulsify. Will keep in the fridge for a couple months.

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