This heirloom tomato and cucumber salad reminds me of my grandfather. It seems like my fondest memories always surround him. He was my favorite person and I just adored being around him. He helped me build my first mini green house and plant my lettuce garden when I was barely 5 years old, and he is the soul and inspiration behind this journal. This only exists because of him, and it all started with this heirloom tomato and cucumber salad. Salad I must have watched him make hundreds of times. Rustic slicing works best here, different size slices, wedges and even strips of cucumber for a wild presentation. Tiny basil leaves and yellow squash blossoms If in season add the perfect rustic garnish to a meal that is already perfect before even being dressed. Talk about nature at its finest! Wow!
Actually this tomato and cucumber salad is my grandfather, in all its rustic simplicity and beauty. He taught me how to rub a garlic clove on my bruschetta to get just the perfect coverage for my underdeveloped taste buds. He thought me how to pick an heirloom tomato, 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 make what is today my favorite salad in the entire world: this simple and perfect tomato and cucumber 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, this heirloom tomato and cucumber salad has to be the best thing I ever ate; and continue to eat whenever I can get my hands on some organic heirloom tomatoes. You can of course make this with whatever tomatoes you like, but i must tell you: It won’t be the same thing. 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.
- 2 Lb Organic Heirloom Tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 English Cucumber – seedless thinly sliced lengthwise or into rounds
- 6 Scallions -sliced into rounds or lenthwise
- 2-3 Tbs red wine vinegar or lemon juice, to taste
- ⅓ c extra virgin olive oil, organic
- ½ Tsp Sea Salt + more to taste
- Black Pepper to taste -freshly cracked
- basil leaves, for garnish
- squash blossoms for garnish, optional
- Whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar or lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper together. Taste and adjust seasonings. 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.
- Serve next to roasts, chicken or steaks.