Cucumber Tomato Salad
“Are the tomatoes any good?”
This is a question you hear all summer in the South, coming in third place only after “Did [insert Southeast Conference school name here, like Alabama or Ole Miss] win?” and “How’s your mama?”
Heck, for all I know you hear it everywhere, but never having shopped for tomatoes anywhere but the South, I can only speak for those of us that live on the right side of the Mason-Dixon line.
Award Winning Cucumber Tomato Salad
If you are from the South, you have had versions of this Cucumber Tomato Salad at office potluck, at July 4th BBQ or after church on Sunday. But never is it better than in the summer, when veggies are plentiful and days are sweltering.
This simple version of my grandmother’s Cucumber Tomato Salad won her a prize once – the tomatoes were sweet and the cucumbers crisp that late Summer. You can vary the taste to your liking by using balsamic vinegar or adding red onion or bell peppers.
Using a Mandolin in Your Kitchen to Cut Vegetables
Kitchen gadgets are personal. You can get the feel of a particular knife or whisk and can’t use another. Your daughter might use her Kitchen-Aid mixer that she got as a wedding present every day and you are still using your old 20-year old mixer with the second set of beaters.
But in my opinion, nothing beats the job of slicing like a mandolin. Not only is it quick and efficient, it cuts all the food evenly so that it cooks evenly as well.
Mandolins are sharp and always come with a safety guard. This is a MUST if you have any desire in keeping all ten of your fingertips where The Good Lord and your parents put them!
Here are some reviews and instructions from the professionals at America’s Test Kitchen. Before I checked out this video, I had an old mandolin that was from the Martha Stewart Collection at K-Mart! Talk about OG!
It worked and actually had all the features suggested in the video, but the blade was a little dull so I took advantage of good advice and upgraded to the model they suggest.
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CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD
- 2 cups cucumber seeded and cubed
- 1 cup Roma tomatoes chopped
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 Tablespoons vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine cucumber and tomatoes in large bowl. Stir sugar into warm water until completely dissolved. Add vinegar. Pour over vegetables and season to taste.
- Refrigerate and allow flavors to meld for at least an hour before serving
Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Now, this version is a little different than the vinegar based type. I don’t know if it has won any awards or blue ribbons, but it’s is a mighty fine alternative when you are trying to use those delicious vegetables before they go bad.
Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- 3 medium tomatoes cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 medium cucumbers cut in half and sliced
- 1/2 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove pressed (2 cloves if you love garlic!)
- 3 Tbsp mayo
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Salt to taste
- With a serratred knife, cut tomatoes in 1" chunks and thinly slice 1/2 of the onion
- Combine all of the prepared vegetables in bowl.
- Mix the dressing into the vegetables. Add salt to taste just before serving.
Cucumbers aren’t as finicky as tomatoes and you can usually rely on a bumper crop. They are delicious preserved as pickles, used in Fancy Lady Lunch finger sandwiches or sliced and served alone in all their glory on a side plate. Here’s a way to turn them into a proper salad dish as well.
- 4 cucumbers thinly sliced
- 1 small white onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried dill or to taste
- Toss together the cucumbers and onion in a large bowl. Combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and pour over the cucumber and onions. Stir in dill, cover, and refrigerate until cold. This can also be eaten at room temperature, but be sure to allow the cucumbers to marinate for at least 1 hour.