It’s often said that simple is best, and that adage is never truer than it is in the summer season. Summer is all about simple pleasures… like fresh air and sunshine, good times with family and friends, and delicious food made from fresh, wholesome ingredients. This simple cucumber salad is just the kind of thing we turn to all summer long, whether we want a refreshing lunch or a crowd-pleasing potluck dish. It takes maybe five minutes to put together (but we’ve listed it at ten just in case you’re a slow chopper) and it makes such excellent leftovers that you can pretty much count on finding it in our fridge throughout the season.
Cucumber, tomatoes, and thinly sliced onions are tossed in a quick dressing of oil, vinegar, a little bit of sugar, and some salt and pepper. We like to add parsley for a bit of herbiness, but if you leave it out, the simple balance of remaining flavors is more than enough to carry this dish. Some recipes use quite a bit more sugar but we find that two tablespoons adds plenty of sweetness. But feel free to add or subtract as needed!
Apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar both work really well here, so use whatever you have on hand. It’s not meant to be fussy. The only trick is to give your salad time to chill in the fridge – two hours should do it. That takes the sharp bite out of the onion and gives the tomatoes and cucumbers time to absorb all of that flavor. That chilling time is really what makes it so great.
If you have a garden, this cool and crunchy dish is a no-brainer, but even if you don’t grow your own, it’s well worth a stop at the farmers market or grocery store. It’s light, crisp, and refreshing, with the perfect balance of sweet and sour. We look forward to summer for plenty of reasons, but this simple salad is right up there at the top of the list.
Cucumber Tomato Salad
Serves 4-6; 10 minutes active, 2 hours inactive
- 3 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 white onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup apple cider or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, and parsley, in a glass measuring cup or small container and pour over cucumber mixture. Toss to coat and season to taste, if needed.
- Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours. Serve, and enjoy!