Fresh and vibrant, a Mediterranean Tomato & Cucumber Salad incorporates so many summer flavors! This salad comes together quickly and easily, but keeps fairly well in the fridge for a go-to dose of summer veggies. It's gluten free, vegan, Whole30, low carb, and keto.
Ingredients for a Mediterranean-style tomato and cucumber salad
Summer salads are often best with a pared down ingredients list that truly focuses on fresh vegetables and their inherently incredible flavors. Still, you'll need to pull in a few extra ingredients and fresh herbs to make this salad really pop!
- cherry tomatoes
- red onion
- kalamata olives
- fresh oregano
- fresh mint
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- feta cheese (optional)
Do I have to peel the cucumbers for salads?
No, it's not entirely necessarily — but peeling them in sections as I did for the photos adds a nice visual touch to this salad!
Some find the peel of a cucumber, expecially out-of-season cucumbers, to be rather bitter or tough. If you fall into this category or you know the cukes in your pantry have a thick skin, you may fare better with peeling them.
Why macerate the onions?
As you read through the instructions for this recipe, you'll see that an extra 15 minutes is devoted to macerating the onions — essentially just letting them sit in the red wine vinegar for a while.
Macerating is a way of softening food in liquid. I like using the method to take a bit of the bite out of fresh onions. After all, it's so easy for onions to overpower the rest of a dish. The acid in the red wine vinegar will help to draw out that intense bite and soften the onions a bit without completely wiping out the welcome crunch and flavor.
So, you can skip this step, but I don't recommend it! Otherwise the onions may overpower the rest of the salad.
More colorful summer salad recipes
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Fresh, vibrant Mediterranean Tomato & Cucumber Salad incorporates so many summer flavors! Macerating the red onions at the beginning cuts down on their tear-inducing bite, but adds a slightly pickled flavor to the salad. Don't skip that step!
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 cucumbers (roughly 4 cups sliced)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 ounces feta cheese (optional)
- ¼ cup kalamata olives (optional)
- Combine the sliced red onion and red wine vinegar in a jar. Set aside for 15 to 30 minutes to let the onions macerate and soften (the longer they sit, the softer and more flavorful they will be). Meanwhile, prep the rest of the vegetables by halving the cherry tomatoes and slicing the cucumbers thinly. After the onions have macerated, drain the vinegar into a separate bowl.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, oregano, and mint to a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the reserved vinegar. While stirring vigorously, add the extra virgin olive oil. Stir in salt and pepper, then taste. Add more of the reserved vinegar if desired. Pour the dressing over the tomato and cucumber mixture, then toss to coat.
- If using kalamata olives, add them and toss the salad. If using feta cheese, crumble it over the top of the salad just before serving.
Keywords: tomato cucumber salad