I love a good easy summertime side.
Because sometimes you just don’t want to deal with mayo/sour cream, long cooking times, or having the oven or stove on for long periods of time in the middle of August.
That’s why I am a big fan of marinated salads.
They are vinegar-based, which means low food-borne illness risk (yay food safety!) and they are made and served cold, which means no hot surfaces are needed (because who wants to be chained to the stove on a beautiful day?).
Marinated salads are late summer supper saviors (say that three times fast!).
And this is my favorite – Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad. All the color and beauty of summertime in fast salad form. (plus it’s really delicious!)
It starts with really good tomatoes.
I got these babies from the local farmer’s market – I just love their bright red color and their sweet flavor this time of year. But if your grocery store has some good lookin’ tomatoes, buy them and make this salad!
Next, grab yourself a cucumber – an English, or seedless, cucumber to be exact.
Then chop it into big chunks! I use a seedless cucumber because I personally find it a little less bitter than a traditional cucumber and also because I am lazy – the seeds are so tiny and tender in this type of cucumber that you don’t even have to seed it (which means we can eat quicker!). I also leave on the skin for added color and a bit of extra fiber.
Finally, add in some finely sliced scallions for an onion-y kick and some freshness.
All that’s left to do is dress the salad with your favorite vinaigrette. This is my homemade stand-by that is always in a mason jar in the fridge – olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, oregano. If you don’t have the homemade stuff, any good basic vinaigrette works here.
All that’s left is to toss and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This allows the veggies to marinate and lets the flavors come together and meld… AKA it takes the salad from delicious to divine!
Then all you need to do is serve it alongside your favorite summer dishes, like grilled chicken, steaks, or hearty pasta dishes. It is a fresh, easy (and healthy) side dish that will definitely please your guests at your next gathering.
Your marinated salad obsessed friend,
Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad
2 medium-to-large tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 large seedless cucumber, quartered and cut into chunks
1-2 medium scallions, finely sliced
½ cup vinaigrette, homemade or store-bought
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, and scallion. Drizzle over the vinaigrette and gently toss to combine – you can adjust the amount of dressing based on your personal preferences. Set the bowl aside for about 15 minutes to allow the favors to come together. Serve alongside your favorite grilled meats or pasta dishes.
Nutritional Information (1 serving):
108 calories • 8gm carbohydrates • 1gm fiber • 1gm protein • 9gm fat • 1gm saturated fat • 492mg sodium • 0mg cholesterol • 1mg iron • 24mg calcium
Red Wine Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Nutritional Information (⅛ cups):
130 calories • 2gm carbohydrates • 1gm fiber • 0gm protein • 14gm fat • 2gm saturated fat • 800mg sodium • 0mg cholesterol • 1mg iron • 26mg calcium