My Tomato, Red Onion and Cucumber Salad only takes moments to make. I have to say I find the process incredibly therapeutic. There’s something so soothing about slicing the fresh ingredients and then the tomato, red onion, cucumber repetition. I always like to use a white plate as it makes the colours of the vegetables really pop. Arranged on a rectangular or round plate, this salad makes a great centerpiece for a buffet.
I’d love to say the idea for this pretty dish was mine, but this salad is made from the memory of more buffets than I can count, all prepared by my late Mom. Mom loved entertaining, tomatoes and cucumber just as much as I do.
This is an excellent recipe for using your favourite flavoured oils – particularly basil oil. Having said that, a good mild olive oil makes the perfect choice as well, leaving you to add flavour with extra fresh or dried herbs. The salad does rely on a good sprinkle of salt – preferably a nice sea salt – and freshly ground pepper. It’s wonderful how a few really good quality ingredients can make something simple taste so good.
Of course this salad is at its best in the summer when the ripe tomatoes are falling off the vines and fresh herbs are plentiful. However it’s also a great way to get a taste of summer in the depths of winter as good olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs will lift the flavour of an out of season greenhouse tomato like nothing else.
I find this salad absolutely addictive and would greedily eat the leftovers straight from the serving plate, that is, if there were ever any leftovers!
- 3 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 large red onion
- 1 to 2 tablespoons good mild olive oil
- About 1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
- salt and pepper to taste
- Core and slice the tomatoes in rounds about a quarter inch thick. You want them thick enough they don't fall apart, but not so thick you need a knife to cut them in half before you eat them.
- Slice the cucumber thinly.
- Peel and slice the red onion very thinly.
- Alternate the tomato, cucumber and red onion slices on the plate, starting at the middle of a circular plate and working out. For a rectangular plate start at the top and work towards yourself, making two or three rows.
- Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil, followed by the balsamic vinegar.
- Sprinkle with the basil.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow to sit covered at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
This salad is best made just an hour or so before serving. Refrigerate leftovers and eat as soon as possible.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy my End of Summer Salads post.