Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad (VIDEO)
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Italian style Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad recipe made with the best of summer’s heirloom tomatoes, fragrant basil, crisp cucumber and onions tossed in a classic olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing.
Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad
The quintessential salad of summer, easy to make, good for you plant based goodness, without a doubt the best thing I ever ate. A nod to the man in the photo for eternity!
- Heirloom Tomatoes – the royalty of tomatoes, sweet, juicy, aromatic, gorgeous. Use a mix of different colors and shapes for the ultimate flavor profile and visual effect.
- Cucumbers – use a seedless variety if available, skinny English cucumbers or the small Persian variety are perfect here. There’s no need to peel those varieties and you can slice them into rounds or use a peeler to make ribbons.
- Basil – fresh Genoese basil rustically torn with your hands to avoid bruising. Alternatively you can roll up the leaves and thinly slice them with a serrated knife into a “chiffonade”. I like to grow purple basil so I throw some of that in there together with its pretty purple blossoms.
- Onion – use both sweet green onion and crunchy red or even shallot. They each add unique flavor and texture to the salad.
- Olive Oil – use only the finest cold pressed extra virgin olive oil you have. Something smooth and fruity that won’t overpower the delicate flavor of the heirloom tomatoes.
- Vinegar – red wine vinegar is my go to classic for this salad. Apple cider vinegar and even lemon could work as a substitute but please stay away from any balsamic or sweet vinegars.
Tomato Cucumber Salad Dressing
Vinaigrettes and dressings are more of an American thing. Growing up we always added the dressing components directly into the bowl with the tomatoes and tossed them all together. We didn’t actually whisk it in a separate bowl. Start with a splash of vinegar then just a light drizzle of olive oil, taste as you go seasoning and adjusting with salt and pepper 11 times until your taste buds are doing the happy dance. The official vinaigrette ratio is 1 part acid to 3 parts fat, i’m more of a 50/50 kind of girl.
How to Make Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad
- Slice the tomatoes, cucumbers and onions into irregular shapes and sizes.
- Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
- Drizzle with red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive then and toss to coat well.
- Allow the salad to sit and macerate for about 5 to 10 minutes then stir in the fresh basil and adjust seasonings to taste.
- Make ahead – seriously not recommended! A 30 minute window is fine to give your salad time to macerate and for the flavors to marry. Anything longer that requires refrigeration is a no go as tomatoes become mealy, the cucumbers get soggy and the basil turns brown. You can still store and enjoy any leftovers but i wouldn’t serve them as the star of a meal.
- Add ins – avocado, olives, capers, crumbled vegan feta or fresh mozzarella bocconcini. Go crazy with chives, thyme or dill or toss in some Italian tomato bruschetta and turn it into a pasta or Panzanella salad.
- Measurements – there are specific measurements listed in the recipe card, however this truly is a no recipe recipe, you taste as you go.
Farro or Brown Rice Pilaf
Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad
Italian style Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad made with the best of summer’s heirloom tomatoes, fragrant basil, crisp cucumber and onions tossed in a classic olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing.Print Recipe
- 2 Lb Organic Heirloom Tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 English Cucumber (thinly sliced)
- 6 Scallions or 1/2 cup red onion -sliced
- 2-3 Tbs red wine vinegar or lemon juice (+ more to taste)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 c basil leaves + blossoms (for garnish)
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt + black pepper to taste
- Slice the heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt and give them a gentle toss.
- Drizzle the olive oil and red wine vinegar (or lemon juice) over the sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and toss to coat well. Taste and adjust seasonings with more vinegar and salt then stir in the fresh basil leaves. Allow the salad to sit and macerate for 5 minutes before serving.
- Make ahead - seriously not recommended! A 30 minute window is fine to give your salad time to macerate and for the flavors to marry. Anything longer that requires refrigeration is a no go as tomatoes become mealy, the cucumbers get soggy and the basil turns brown. You can still store and enjoy any leftovers but i wouldn’t serve them as the start of a meal.
- Add ins - avocado, olives, capers, crumbled vegan feta or this homemade mozzarella bocconcini. Go crazy with fresh chives, thyme or dill or toss in some Italian tomato bruschetta and turn it into a Panzanella salad.
- Measurements - there are specific measurements listed in the recipe card, however this truly is a no recipe recipe, you taste as you go. No two oils or vinegars are ever going to be exactly the same so taste as you go, adjust seasonings 11 times until a perfect balance of Salt + Fat + Acid is achieved.
Servings: 4 people
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Do you really only use an iPhone for all your photos? They’re so good!
Hi Tiffany, I have since purchased a camera, half the price of my iphone ha, but I go back and forth between my Iphone and my camera.
What a sweet tribute to your grandfather and such an incredibly beautiful salad – I love the look of those heirlooms!
Gorgeous salad! Your grandfather certainly knew what he was doing. Seems like the old-timers knew a good thing. I love your salad arrangement — it captures the eye and it stimulates the appetite !
Absolutely, they had that magic going in their dishes without a doubt. This salad just feeds my soul, I could never be bored of it. Tomatoes and cucumbers are my lifeline. ha!
What a lovely salad, and sweet tribute to your grandfather. 🙂
Your post made me smile. I have so many fond memories of my grandfather and his heirloom tomato crops as well. Aren’t those the most special memories? Your grandfather’s cucumber and tomato salad is gorgeous. (And, I totally relate to drinking the juices at the bottom of the bowl! I’ve also been known to soak them up with a crusty wedge of bread! 🙂 )
Yes ! You know wha i mean about those juices. And yes, bruschetta is mandatory to wipe that salad bowl clean ~ Florentina Xo’s
We have a new organic supermarket here and they have awesome heirloom tomatoes. I can’t wait to give this a try. BBQ season is here and this is perfect!!
I love simple salads and this looks amazing!
Oh my gosh – what a rather gorgeous salad. Just what I would love to have for lunch.