Been pretty hot lately so this Cucumber Zucchini Tomato Salad is a great cooler for those days you want to beat the heat. Yeah that’s right, it’s another freaking salad. It’s been heat wave, cool down, heat wave here in Chicago this summer which has made it interesting cooking-wise. One week I want nothing to do with cooking outdoors, then it cools down and I get all excited to be back out on the porch in front of the grill. You probably don’t need to read the weather reports to figure out what it’s been like here, just take note of what I’m making!
My salad ideas had come to a bit of a standstill so I looked to see what my mom had. In those recipe books of hers there’s a whole tab devoted to “Salads.” This one is called Summer Salad. I must admit, it’s a pretty generic name for a salad but it fits. The ingredients are vegetables you’re pulling out of your garden all summer long, and as she said to me on the phone “it’s good way to use up all your extra zucchini.” I used basil instead of parsley since basil and tomatoes are such a natural fit. The recipe also calls for more salt, vinegar, and oil to be added, but I tasted it after combining all the ingredients and thought it didn’t need anything else. You decide based on your tastes whether to add those. I didn’t remember this salad when I first read the recipe but when I ate some the taste memories came back and I had one of those “oh yeah, I remember this now” moments.
Simple, simple, simple! And economical. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve made an easier salad this summer. No cooking, boiling water, or roasting involved. Just chop up the vegetables, add salt and vinegar, let sit, mix, and chill. Takes about a half hour for everything to come together. It has a nice acid taste from the vinegar and the vegetables retain a good crunch, not super-crunchy, but just toothsome enough to remind you they’re fresh garden vegetables!
Cucumber, Zucchini, and Tomato Salad (a.k.a. my mom’s “Summer Salad”)
- 1 lb cucumbers
- 1 lb zucchini
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ C vinegar (use your favorite)
- 1 ½ lb tomatoes
- ¾ C chopped red onion
- 2 Tbs chopped mint
- ¼ C chopped basil
Wash all your vegetables.
Peel, quarter, seed, and chop up cucumbers. Quarter and chop up zucchini. Toss cucumbers and zucchini with 2 tsp salt and ¼ C vinegar. Set aside for ½ hour.
In the meantime, cut the top off and squeeze the seeds out so you’re left with just the tomato meat. Chop tomatoes into same size as cucumbers and zucchini.
After 30 minutes has passed, drain the cucumbers and zucchini. Toss with tomatoes, onion, mint, and basil. Season to taste. (Note: here my mom’s recipe calls for adding oil and vinegar and salt to your liking. I found the vegetables were seasoned pretty well and didn’t need any of these but feel free to add some if you want.)
Chill in refrigerator before serving.