A straightforward recipe, cucumber tomato salad requires only three essential components and a lemony vinaigrette. Savor this Mediterranean salad standalone, or incorporate it into chicken shawarma, feta, and spinach frittata to infuse them with vibrant hues and crisp flavors.
When I was growing up in Egypt, cucumber tomato salad was known as salata. A commonplace Mediterranean salad, it comprises parsley, tomatoes, and cucumbers as its principal components.
Although it is simply seasoned with kosher salt, I include sumac for added dimension and tang.
This uncomplicated salad from the Mediterranean is as traditional as it gets. It encapsulates the agricultural origins of the region and the enduring allure of its crisp flavors. Salads such as fattoush and tabouli find their inspiration in this region.
To enhance the dish, one may garnish it with red onion, as illustrated, or incorporate feta cheese for a piquant enhancement. Utilize inspiration as your compass.
Ingredients for Cucumber Tomato Salad
This basic salad is composed of readily available components that require minimal embellishment. A basic dressing and a few seasonings are sufficient to accentuate the vibrant flavors.
Roma tomatoes maintain their firm texture even when mature, thereby contributing to the salad’s prolonged freshness for several days. It is possible to replace the mature, flavorful tomato with an heirloom or cherry variety.
Select cucumber varieties that have a delicate, thin exterior, such as English or hot-house cucumbers. If only large, standard-sized cucumbers are available for slicing, contemplate removing the skin due to its propensity for bitterness.
Infuse this straightforward salad with a Mediterranean zing and a touch of parsley. If possible, choose Italian or flat-leafed parsley; curly parsley is typically more bitter and stiff.
Black pepper and salt are two seasonings that enhance the flavor. Sumac, an elective spice derived from ground and desiccated berries of the sumac shrub, is not required. It provides an additional level of luminosity.
If you do not have any on hand, our preferred sumac is available for purchase at our shop or at the majority of grocery stores. An alternative ingredient is a pinch of lemon rind that has been finely grated.
Extra virgin olive oil
Use an extra virgin olive oil that is both robust and refined, such as Hojiblanca Spanish EVOO or Greek Early Harvest, which has a peppery flavor.
Juice of the lemon: A revitalizing sprinkling of lemon juice unifies the crisp vegetables with the luscious olive oil.
How to Make Cucumber Tomato Salad
The Mediterranean diet includes cucumber tomato salad as a daily dietary component, and not just for its crisp, fresh taste. This salad is among the most straightforward that you will ever prepare, requiring only a few minutes to assemble. When you need something green on your table but don’t have time to bother, this is an excellent substitute. This is the progression:
Prepare the tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley
Tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley preparation: Six Roma tomatoes, diced. One large English cucumber should be diced into tiny pieces or cubes. Chop a substantial quantity of parsley, approximately one-half bundle.
It is not necessary to harvest every leaf, as the flavor is enhanced by the delicate stems located in close proximity to the leaves. Everything is combined in a large mixing basin.
Add kosher salt
After tossing the salad with a generous amount of kosher salt, reserve it for approximately 5 minutes. We will utilize a portion of the water that the vegetables expel to assist in the mild dressing of the salad.
Add the dressing
A generous drizzle (approximately 2 tablespoons) of premium extra virgin olive oil and the juice of one lemon (or a minimum of 2 teaspoons of lemon juice) constitute the traditional Mediterranean salad vinaigrette.
Mix in a quarter teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper. I enjoy adding an optional one-tenth of sumac for additional dimension and tang.
Taste and serve
Modify the amount of lemon, salt, and pepper in the salad to personal preference. Immediately serve, or allow to rest for 15 minutes to facilitate the mingling of flavors.