|A reader sent this tasty idea for a tomato-cucumber-avocado salad dressed with just balsamic vinegar!|
There are a lot of salads with tomatoes and cucumbers on this blog. That's partly because I love tomatoes and cucumbers and grow them in my garden every year. To me that combination just screams summer, but I also eat tomatoes and cucumbers all year (whenever I can get good flavorful tomatoes and Persian cucumbers from Costco.) So when a reader from Hawaii named Lisa sent me her recipe for "dumb salad" and said it was something she made often, I was interested. Lisa discovered this combination when she was going out of town and needed to use what was on hand, and I promise you, this salad idea that combines cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, avocado, and balsamic vinegar is not dumb at all! Of course, only make this when you have fresh flavorful tomatoes, but I loved the combination of flavors, accented with just a little good sea salt and some coarse ground black pepper. And I also love the idea of a salad with no added oil except the "good fat" from the avocado.
Lisa invited me to change it up a bit, but really I didn't change it much except to sub diagonally-sliced green onions for the sweet onions she used. I was making more than I'd eat right away, so I also tossed the avocado with just the tiniest bit of lemon juice to make sure it didn't go brown. Lisa's friends suggested adding lots of chopped herbs, and I'm thinking mint, basil, or parsley could also have a supporting role in this salad if you wanted to add them, but for my first time I just made the salad like Lisa does and happily gobbled it up for lunch!
I used my first garden cucumber (on the right) which I combined with two Persian cucumbers. You could also use one large Eurpoean cucumber instead of three small ones.
Not many tomatoes yet around here, so I used these sweet Cherubs tomatoes from Costco. This is something I buy over and over. (Cherubs has never paid me or sent tomatoes, I just like their product!)
As I said, I tossed the avocado with just a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice to keep the leftovers from turning brown. (I'm guessing 99% of the time you make this it will all be eaten right away, so feel free to skip this step if that's the case.)
Gently toss together the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, and avocado, then dress with just enough good quality balsamic vinegar to coat the veggies. Season to taste with good sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and enjoy!
(Makes 2 generous servings or 4 side-dish servings, recipe created by a reader named Lisa who lives on Maui.)
3 small Persian cucumbers or garden cucumbers
1 cup diced tomato or cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onion or thinly sliced sweet onion (or more)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (optional, for tossing with avocado)
about 1 T good-quality balsamic vinegar (I used Fini)
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise, then slice into half-moon slices. (I never peel Persian cucumbers, but if you use other cucumbers you might want to peel some of the skin off in stripes before you slice them.) Dice tomatoes or cut cherry tomatoes in half to make one cup. (Only make this salad when you have flavorful fresh tomatoes.) Diagonally slice green onion or slice onion to make 1/4 cup, or more if you like onion. Peel and cut up the avocado into small cubes.
Combine the cucumber, tomato, onion, and avocado in a plastic or glass bowl and gently toss together. Add a small amount of balsamic vinegar, enough to barely coat the veggies, and toss again. (I used about a tablespoon of vinegar, which was plenty.) Season to taste with your favorite sea salt and plenty of fresh-ground black pepper.
If you're making more salad than is going to be eaten right away you can toss the avocado with a few teaspoons of fresh lemon juice so they don't turn brown, but this is best freshly made. If you like it as much as I did, you probably won't have leftovers no matter how much you make!
South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this salad is a perfect low-glycemic ingredient for the South Beach Diet. The recommended amount of avocado for phase one is 2/3 avocado per day, so keep that in mind.
More Tasty Salads with Cucumbers and Tomatoes:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad with Yogurt and Tahini Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans from Kalyn's Kitchen
Vegan Tomato Salad with Cucumbers, Avocado, Cilantro, and Lime from Kalyn's Kitchen
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Parsley and Mint from Kalyn's Kitchen
Bulgur Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, Mint, and Lemon from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cucumber Salad with Tomato, Bell Pepper, and Spicy Thai Lime Vinaigrette from Andrea Meyers
Tomato Cucumber Salad from [No Recipes]
Cool as a Cucumber, Melon, and Tomato Salad from Redacted Recipes
Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad from Ciao Florentina
Cucumber and Tomato Salad from Green Lemonade
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search. There is also an entire page of salads with tomatoes and cucumbers that have been featured on Kalyn's Kitchen.)