This Italian Tomato and Cucumber salad is cold, refreshing, peppered with mozzarella cheese, and drizzled with a homemade Italian dressing that rivals anything store-bought.
The beauty of summer is that simple dishes instantly become impressive with just a couple of garden ingredients. This Italian Tomato and Cucumber Salad was born out of just that.
Like most people in the summer, I needed a dish to bring to a gathering with the ingredients I had on hand. This meant garden cucumbers and tomatoes from my garden and the random nubs of mozzarella cheese I had in my refrigerator. To dress it up, I skimmed the internet for Italian dressing ideas and took a little bit from each one to make it my own. In the end, I felt good that was at least contributing something to the gathering.
To my surprise, this salad was such a hit that I received requests for the recipe. As honored as I was, I texted links to at least 4 different recipes and explained what ingredients I used from each one, thinking that would suffice given the “simplicity” of the salad. They never responded, and I don’t blame them.
So, as summer ends with the height of tomato season, here is the simple Italian Salad we all need in our back pocket, with proper measurements and ingredients, of course.
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN TOMATO AND CUCUMBER SALAD
- Halve and salt the cherry tomatoes.
- Combine the ingredients for the Italian Vinaigrette and shake until emulsified.
- Combine the chopped cucumbers, salted tomatoes, and cubed mozzarella in a large bowl.
- Drizzle with dressing with serve immediately.
POSSIBLE SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
AVOCADO. Substitute diced avocado for the cheese or add it in to the salad.
RED ONION. Add thinly sliced onions for a peppery flavor.
MOZZARELLA. Provolone is also delicious!
SALAMI. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with adding thinly sliced salami to an Italian salad.
Italian Tomato and Cucumber Salad: Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely. The salad may be more watery since regular tomatoes tend to be juicier.
Long, slender cucumbers with few seeds, such as burpless, work best. If your cucumber has a lot of seeds, you can scoop them out with a spoon to remove any bitterness.
Yes. It’s best to keep the salad and dressing separate until ready to serve. The dressing keeps well for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. The undressed salad keeps well in an airtight container for up to 1 day in the refrigerator. Dress the salad right before serving.
MORE SIMPLE SALAD RECIPES TO TRY
- 4-Ingredient Shredded Carrot Salad
- Simple Spinach Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing
- Three Bean Salad with Lemon and Dill
Italian Tomato and Cucumber Salad
This Italian Tomato and Cucumber salad is cold, refreshing, full of mozzarella cheese, and drizzled with a homemade Italian dressing that rivals anything store-bought.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 side servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Chop
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Gluten Free
For the salad:
- 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 of a large cucumber, preferably seedless, chopped
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) cubes mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼″ cubes
- Basil, for garnish
For the Italian vinaigrette:
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, optional
- Salt the tomatoes. Halve the tomatoes lengthwise and place the tomatoes cut side up on a plate or cutting board. Season with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Set aside while you make the vinaigrette.
- Make the Italian vinaigrette. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, grated garlic, oregano, salt and ground pepper (if using) to a glass jar. Cap the jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until the dressing is creamy and emulsified, about 1 minute. Alternatively, you can use a bowl with a whisk to make the dressing.
- Assemble the salad. In a large bowl, combine the salted tomatoes, leaving any juices behind, diced cucumbers, and mozzarella cheese.
- For serving. Shake the salad dressing right before serving. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and coat to taste. Store extra dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If the dressing solidifies in the refrigerator, set aside at room temperature until the olive oil liquifies, about 5 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
- Calories: 231 calories
- Sugar: 2.2g
- Sodium: 421mg
- Fat: 23.5g
- Saturated Fat: 3.8g
- Carbohydrates: 4.7g
- Fiber: 1.4g
- Protein: 2.2g
- Cholesterol: 3mg
Keywords: Chopped Italian Salad