The Cucumber Tomato Salad You Can Pair With Everything

Who ever said a genuinely healthy dish can't also taste genuinely delicious? Not chef and food writer Cecilia Ryu, certainly, who has designed a "simple yet refreshing salad" that you'll want to enjoy time after time. In Ryu's words, this easy to assemble salad is simply "perfect for summer cookouts when tomatoes are in season." Indeed, if you can get your hands on some locally-grown heirloom tomatoes, then you're already halfway there to creating a deeply flavorful and satisfying salad.

With just a few minutes of chopping and mixing, you'll have at the ready a delightful salad that Ryu says "pairs well with your favorite pasta or with grilled chicken for a healthy meal." And not only does this easy-to-make salad taste great, but it looks great, too, adding some color to your table. It's also perfect for social media snaps, which are certainly fine from time to time. After all, it's okay to be proud of your culinary tableau, even if it's as easily prepared as this cucumber tomato salad.

This is a perfect salad for larger groups, too, because you can so easily scale it up (or down) as needed. And if you're prepping it for a cookout or dinner party, Ryu says, "You can prepare all the ingredients and dressing in advance and store in the refrigerator and assemble a few minutes before serving." Plus, you can make it in front of people if you like to show off a bit.

Gather your ingredients for cucumber tomato salad

What's unique about this salad is the absence of leafy greens. Instead, it gives you a hearty crunch albeit without losing that healthy lightness, thanks in large part to the cucumbers and red onions providing plenty of texture alongside flavorful tomatoes. If you can, get the freshest vegetables possible for the most flavor, texture, and color. 

Ryu's recipe calls for 1 pound of tomatoes, chopped into large pieces, along with 1 English cucumber, halved and sliced into ¼" pieces, and ½ a red onion, sliced thin. For seasonings, you will need to secure 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, ¼ teaspoon of dried oregano, 2 ½ tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, a ½ teaspoon of salt, and a ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

Wondering which tomatoes work best? Don't worry about it too much, actually. "I've tested this recipe using all different kinds of tomatoes and they all taste delicious," says Ryu, adding: "I would recommend using the freshest tomatoes available." For visual interest, you might consider snagging a colorful heirloom tomato, but always remember that freshness is the name of the game regardless of the exact variety. That's why this is such a wonderful recipe for the warm, produce-rich summer months.

Make the dressing for cucumber tomato salad

To make the salad dressing, simply whisk the red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Mix them all together well. Unless you will be serving the salad immediately, cover the dish and refrigerate it.

But better yet, decant the dressing into a bottle or small pitcher you can shake and use for serving later. Chilling the dressing is a good idea, so make it ahead if you can. This will help the flavors of the vinegar, oil, and seasonings mellow and balance out each other as they chill out together in the fridge. If you are making the dressing ahead of time, know that the ingredients will separate and require shaking and stirring. Remember that it's okay if you notice some separation, especially if the dressing has been sitting around for a while. That's totally normal and no problem, so simply shake or stir the salad's dressing until it's emulsified again and ready to dive into the salad proper.

Assemble the cucumber tomato salad

Combine the diced tomatoes, the slices of cucumber, and the thinly sliced red onion in a bowl, along with the fresh basil and parsley, and the dried oregano. Be sure to use a larger bowl for this step, as that will make the matter of mixing everything together much easier and neater. 

Toss the veggies lightly to mix them. Then, if you are about to serve the salad to waiting and presumably hungry folks, pour on the dressing and toss everything well to combine. Make sure that all of the ingredients are evenly coaked in the dressing. If you are going to serve the salad within an hour or so, hold off on the dressing for now.

Just like the dressing, you can also do the prep of cutting veggies and pre-mixing them many hours ahead of time. And, if you happen to have any of this salad left behind after everyone's had a go at it, simply pop it all back in the fridge. "Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days," says Ryu, though remember that a fresh salad like this really should be consumed as soon as possible for maximum flavor and texture. With a taste like this, however, chances are pretty good that this cucumber tomato salad will get all eaten up far before you have to worry about that. This is definitely an easy dish that will make you seem like a pro chef.

The Cucumber Tomato Salad You Can Pair With Everything
5 from 28 ratings
This cucumber tomato salad is healthy, refreshing, and easy to make ahead with fresh summer vegetables. It's perfect for home meals and large parties, too.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
4
servings
finished salad
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 lb tomatoes (any variety), chopped into large pieces
  • 1 English cucumber, halved and sliced into ¼" pieces
  • ½ red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Directions
  1. Combine chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, basil, parsley, and oregano in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well to emulsify the ingredients. If using immediately, pour the mixture into the cucumber, tomato, and red onion mixture. If you are making the dressing ahead of time, cover the dressing and refrigerate. You may need to re-whisk later if the oil and vinegar have separated.
  3. Combine all ingredients and stir well to coat and adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once you have dressed the salad, serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 158
Total Fat 13.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 4.6 g
Sodium 299.8 mg
Protein 1.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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