The queen of salads, a rustic cucumber tomato salad recipe made with heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and herbs, dressed in the ultimate olive oil vinaigrette.
It seems like my fondest memories always surround him. He was my favorite person on the Planet, and I just adored being around him. He helped me build my first mini green house to plant my lettuce garden when I was barely 5 years old, and he is the soul and inspiration behind this journal.
This space only exists because of him, and it all started with this cucumber tomato salad recipe.
Made with the finest home grown heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs, then tossed in a real rustic vinaigrette of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, the essence of summer in a bowl.
I must have watched him make it a hundred times, mesmerized by his weathered old hands, wrinkled and scarred from years of hard work in the fields…
The irregular slicing and chopping of ingredients into wedges and strips for an impeccable rustic presentation has never left my memory. Tiny basil leaves and blossoms add the perfect rustic garnish to a meal that is already perfect before even being dressed. Talk about nature at its finest, and a bowl of freshly picked vegetables leaving its mark on history. Wow!
Actually, this cucumber tomato salad recipe is my grandfather, in all its rustic simplicity and beauty!
He taught me how to rub a garlic clove on my freshly grilled piece of bruschetta to get just the perfect coverage for my underdeveloped taste buds. He thought me how to pick an heirloom tomato off the vine, how to save the seeds, dry them and plant them the following year.
Most importantly he thought me about simplicity, taste and real food, and how to master what is today my favorite salad in the entire world: this simple and perfect cucumber tomato salad !
The Best Grandpa on planet Earth, and if you knew him you would have asked him to adopt you. Trust me, he really was that amazing.
No kidding, his heirloom cucumber tomato salad recipe has to be the best thing I ever ate!
And I continue to try and replicate it all summer long while I have my garden bursting with organic heirloom tomatoes. As hard as i try, I must admit that childhood magic permeating that old rustic kitchen and every meal coming out of it still eludes me to this day.
You can of course make this salad with whatever tomatoes you have, but i must tell you: It won’t be the same thing. Please make an effort to get your hands on a couple of large heirloom tomatoes.
Based on their color, heirloom tomatoes have very distinctive sweet flavors, and tend to be very juicy. And that is where the magic comes from, after letting them sit in the olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing for a few minutes, they release some of their juices and blend together in the silkiest, freshest most delicious salad dressing you ever tasted.
The magic will be in the bottom of that bowl, so flavorful and refreshing you might want to drink the leftover juice out of a crystal glass.
Trust me, i’ve drank the cucumber tomato salad dressing countless times, and proud of it ! ~ Florentina xo’s
- 2 Lb Organic Heirloom Tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 English Cucumber seedless thinly sliced
- 6 Scallions or spring onions sliced
- 2-3 Tbs red wine vinegar to taste
- 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil organic
- 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt + more to taste
- Black Pepper to taste -freshly cracked
- 1/4 c basil leaves + blossoms for garnish
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)
Whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar or lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper together. Taste and adjust seasonings with more sea salt, vinegar or live oil. Taste and adjust again until the perfect acidity balance is achieved to your liking.
Pour over the sliced tomatoes, cucumber and scallions and toss to coat gently. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before serving. Toss to coat again just before plating.
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