Tomatoes and cucumbers are peas in a pod when it comes to signature summer dishes. As summer reaches its peak, farm fresh tomatoes flood the grocers table and we eat them in bushels. And this year we grew our own! For this dish I used a blend of Early Girl and a couple heirloom varieties. Cucumber adds crunch and structure. A shallot or small white onion adds zing.
Salting & draining the tomatoes ahead of time will remove excess water. Most of the salt will drain away with the tomato water, and you won’t need to salt the dressing. An herbal rice wine vinaigrette layers in with the crunchy, vibrant fruits adding tang and pop. You will go back for seconds and thirds as your dinner lingers and the fireflies come out to dance.
Any variety of your favorite fresh tomatoes will work. Irregularity should be cherished but make sure the fruit is firm and bright.
Chop the tomatoes into roughly equal sizes, about 1 inch
Salt the tomatoes and let them drain for 45 minutes while you prep the rest of your meal
Peel and chop the cucumber, using a spoon to scoop out the seeds
Here, I used chives, thyme, a pinch of oregano. You can also use mint, tarragon, basil.
- 4 medium ripe tomatoes
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and seeded
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons assorted herbs such as chives, oregano, parsley, mint, basil
- Slice the tomatoes into four wedges and then cut the wedges in half. Depending on the size of your tomatoes you might want to an additional slice. The tomato chunks should be about 1 inch. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and use a small spoon to remove the seeds by scooping down the length of the cucumber. Slice each half in about 1″ widthwise.
- Salt the tomatoes and cucumbers with the 2 teaspoons of salt, tossing them to evenly coat. Set them aside in a colander and let them drain for about 45mins.
- While the tomatoes and cucumbers are resting, make the herb dressing by combining the rice vinegar, olive oil, shallots, black pepper, herbs in a small bowl. Whisk together until emulsified.
- Remove the tomatoes and cucumbers from the colander (a quick spin in a salad spinner will efficiently drain the last bits of water and salt) and place them in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes, toss lightly and serve.