Cucumber & Tomato Salad: A Mediterranean Classic

4.50 from 4 votes

Easy. Delicious. Perfection.

classic cucumber and tomato salad

I’m excited to share with you a delicious Mediterranean classic – the cucumber and tomato salad. This salad recipe is not only bursting with fresh flavors but also embraces the essence of the Mediterranean diet, offering a healthy choice for anyone looking to begin a Mediterranean lifestyle.

One of my favorite activities is creating recipes with ingredients from the garden. After all, everything seems to taste better when it’s freshly picked. Our classic cucumber and tomato salad allows us to use and combine all the juicy tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers we can muster, straight from the vines. This recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner. I like to keep the recipe as pure as possible by using lemon juice and honey for the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. If you don’t have a garden, opt for the freshest cucumbers and tomatoes available.

Embracing the Mediterranean Diet Lifestyle

The Mediterranean diet, renowned for its numerous health benefits, is inspired by the traditional eating habits of people living in countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, and Morocco. This diet emphasizes whole food vegetables and healthy fats – all of which come together in this classic cucumber and tomato salad.

Freshness at Its Best

The Mediterranean region is known for its abundance of sun-kissed produce. Our cucumber and tomato salad beautifully showcases this freshness, allowing the vibrant flavors of ripe tomatoes and crisp cucumbers to take center stage. Fresh and simple ingredients are key to a successful Mediterranean diet, and this salad checks all the boxes.

Nutrient-Rich Powerhouses

Cucumbers and tomatoes are nutritional powerhouses, rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote overall well-being. Cucumbers provide hydration and a good dose of fiber, while tomatoes offer an array of vitamins like C and K, as well as lycopene, a potent antioxidant known to have numerous health benefits.

Heart-Healthy Benefits

The Mediterranean diet is known for its heart-healthy benefits, and this salad perfectly complements that principle. Extra virgin olive oil – a key ingredient in the dressing – is an integral part of the diet, known for its monounsaturated fats that help reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s not just a salad; it’s a heart-loving masterpiece!

The Freshest Flavors

One of the hallmarks of Mediterranean cuisine is its emphasis on bold and fresh flavors. The combination of juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and fragrant herbs in this salad creates a combination of flavors that can transport you to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean.

Versatility and Ease

Mediterranean cuisine is all about simplicity and versatility, and this salad represents those qualities. You can easily customize this recipe by adding your favorite Mediterranean ingredients such as artichoke hearts, bell peppers, and Feta cheese. Make this salad as a light lunch, a side dish, or even a refreshing snack. Its simplicity and ease of preparation make it perfect for any occasion.

Tips for the Perfect Cucumber and Tomato Salad

This delightful Mediterranean recipe will be even better if you follow these tips!

  • Choose ripe and flavorful tomatoes for the best taste.
  • A mandolin slicer can be handy for achieving thin and even cucumber slices.
  • For a twist, try using heirloom or cherry tomatoes to add variety and color.
  • For an extra kick, add a finely chopped jalapeno pepper to the salad.
  • Adjust the dressing ingredients according to your taste preferences – you can add more lemon juice for tanginess or reduce it for a milder flavor.

FAQs About Classic Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Can I make this salad in advance?
A: Absolutely! In fact, this salad tastes even better when allowed to sit and marinate in the fridge for a few hours. The flavors meld together, resulting in a more delicious and refreshing salad.

Can I Use Feta cheese?
A traditional Mediterranean choice, you can definitely experiment with feta or other cheeses such as goat cheese or ricotta for a different twist. However, feta cheese’s tangy and salty flavor complements this salad beautifully.

Is this salad suitable for vegans?
A:  This salad is perfect for a plant-based diet. Adding grilled tofu increases the protein content and makes this a complete meal.

Can I add other vegetables to this salad?
A: Definitely! This salad is quite versatile, and you can add other vegetables like bell peppers, radishes, or even artichoke hearts, based on your preferences. Just be sure to maintain the Mediterranean essence of the salad.

How long can I store leftovers of this salad?
A: This salad is best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. However, keep in mind that the cucumbers may release some liquid, so it might become slightly watery if stored for too long.

Give this Mediterranean Salad a Try

There you have it – an easy and delicious classic cucumber and tomato salad with a Mediterranean twist. This salad not only serves as a refreshing side dish but can also be a stand alone lunch. Take it to work! Its simple preparation, vibrant colors, and burst of flavors make it an all season favorite. So, grab those fresh ingredients and enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean in each bite of this classic salad!

Watch How It’s Made!

Be sure to try some of our other Skinny Ms. salads too, like:

4.50 from 4 votes

Cucumber & Tomato Salad: A Mediterranean Classic

This simple salad is delicious and healthy, the perfect side dish to any meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 5 people
Serving Size 1 cup
Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean, Universal

Ingredients

  • 2 large cucumbers medium, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar red wine vinegar as a substitute
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard dijon or stone ground is best.
  • 2 teaspoons honey optional, omit for plant-based

Instructions

  • In a large salad bowl combine cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over cucumber mix, toss well. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 484mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 591IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 3
Keywords Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Vegetarian

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Gale Compton

Gale co-founded SkinnyMs. with a goal to provide women with delicious recipes, fitness routines, and ways to reach their ideal weight. Gale has been featured on the Today Show in which she won a cook off for the best Lasagna. Be sure to search for her winning recipe, Skinny Lasagna Rolls.

Guided by her firm belief in healthy eating and the power of exercise, Gale has written two cookbooks and several fitness ebooks. She earned her Fitness Training Certification from, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association. Gale loves to run with her dog Maggie and has completed numerous half-marathons.

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25 Comments

  1. I made this tonight. I threw in some kalamata olives. My kids absolutely loved it. My 9 year old asked for seconds and my 13 year old ate some of the leftovers as part of his bedtime snack. Great recipe. We have multiple food allergies, so we often have to make things from scratch. You can bet we will be making this often this summer when our tomatoes are in season.

    1. They do, but grocery store cucumbers are often waxy and thick. Hothouse cucumbers or nonwaxy organic cucumbers will work.

  2. Just wondering if you could leave the skin on the cucumber? Did you take it off as a personal preference or is it better for you?
    Looks yummy!

    1. The skin on cucumbers is good for you. Sometimes it's a little bit too thick for people. Certainly thin-skinned hothouse cucumbers and cucumbers that do not have waxy peels could be eaten with the skin on. Some people prefer to peel stripes so that the peel is not overpowering.

  3. This sounds delicious!! How much honey do you add? I see that you talked about it for sweetness above the recipe but don’t see it in the recipe. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Marlene,

      I would add 2 or 3 teaspoons of honey depending your sweetness preference. I’ll look into adjusting the recipe, thanks for letting us know it’s not listed!

  4. I grew up on this salad. During the summer and fall we always had tomatoes and cucumbers in out garden and we would just go pick some of each to cut up for lunch. I still make it in my house, but my daughter and I are the only ones who eat tomatoes. (It doesn’t keep us from eating it year round.)
    I try different seasonings and dressings, but with this combination of fresh vegetables, you just can’t go wrong.
    I have so many fond memories of the lunches we had growing up, this salad and a ham sandwich. When I was working hard on my weight I had this salad every day for lunch. Filling, energizing, and this is one of my comfort foods.

    1. Kay, you can select “file, print” at the top of your browser, and everything on the webpage will print.

  5. I have always used tomato and cucumber together, with the addition of the onion and dressing it was very good. I do not use salt (blood Pressure) but the mixture for the dressing was very good I did not have olive oil so I used Vegetable oil

  6. Can I prepare this the day before an event? I’m trying it out this weekend for my fiance’s surprise birthday party. 🙂

  7. What a nice salad, but the description talks about using local honey, and it’s not in the ingredient list… I wonder how much honey to whisk into the dressing??

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