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Cucumber, Onion, and Tomato Salad – A Summertime Staple Recipe

This classic Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad is a refreshing summertime dish that is commonly served at most picnics and gatherings. And it is definitely a staple refrigerator item in our house during the months of June, July and August.

It makes for a perfect side dish and pairs well with almost everything! Although there are many variations on what type of dressing to make, we love this combination.

It has the perfect balance of the vinegar tang mixed with a little bit of sweetness that will have you eating this all summer long!

And this dish is very versatile. Because cucumbers are ready to pick much earlier than the tomatoes, we sometimes skip the tomatoes and make this recipe with only cucumbers and onions.

However, there is nothing better than tasty combination of eating fresh picked cucumbers, onions and tomatoes that have been marinating in a sweet vinegar dressing!

cucumber onion tomato salad

Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cucumbers
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Sugar, or sugar substitute
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

The first step in making this cucumber, onion, and tomato salad is to prepare the vegetables. Start by cutting the ends off each side of the cucumbers.

Then you must decide whether or not that you want to peel them. Although the skin of cucumbers contain many nutrients, including fiber and vitamin A, our family prefers to eat them with the peels removed.

However the choice is completely up to you. It will not change how the cucumbers absorb the liquid that they are submerged in.

Then slice each cucumber into 1/8 inch rounds. You can do this with a sharp knife or use a mandoline slicer.

However, if cucumbers typically cause bloating or indigestion for you or your family members, I would suggest you remove the seed core.

cucumber rounds
You can choose to peel your cucumbers or leave the peel intact. Then cut the cucumbers into rounds, or remove the seed core and cut in half moons.

Do this by slicing the cucumber in half lengthwise and then use a spoon to scoop out the center of the cucumber. Then proceed with slicing the cucumber.

But instead of having cucumber circles you will have cucumbers that resemble a moon shape. Then place the cucumbers in a medium size bowl and set aside while you slice the onion.

Cut The Onions

You can use any type of onion that you have on hand. However, different types of onions will impact the overall flavor of your cucumber, onion, and tomato salad.

If you prefer sweeter onions, use those. However, if you like red or white onions, it is okay to use those as well.

No matter what onion you choose, peel the skin off and then cut the onion in half from the top to the bottom. Then flip the cut side down and cut it into thin strips.

Once the onion has been cut, add the slivers to the bowl with the cucumbers.

cut tomatoes
Cut the tomatoes in wedges so that there is more surface area exposed to absorb the vinegar dressing.

Prepare The Tomatoes

Now it is time to cut the tomatoes. First wash and core the tomatoes. Then cut the tomatoes into wedges using a serrated knife.

Again, you can use whatever variety of tomatoes that you have on hand. I prefer to use plum tomatoes because they have less seed core than other varieties.

However, in the middle of summer when my cherry tomato plants are out of control, I use those instead. Although I don’t add them in whole.

Instead I slice them in half so that the tomato can fully absorb the vinegar/sugar mixture. Once you have your tomatoes sliced, add them to the bowl with the cucumbers and onions.

Now it is time to prepare the dressing for your cucumber, onion, and tomato salad.

vinegar dressing
The dressing is a simple mixture of distilled white vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.

Dressing Instructions

In a small bowl add the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Then whisk vigorously until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Feel free to adjust the sugar to your liking. The amount listed below (in the printable recipe card) is meant to be a guideline which pleases the average person.

However, tastes vary and the amount of sugar can vary as well. In addition, if you don’t want to use sugar at all you can leave it completely out or use a sugar substitute such as honey, stevia, or agave nectar.

Once the dressing has been made, pour the liquid mixture over top of the cumbers, onion and tomato salad. Then use tongs or a large spoon to toss the mixture well.

Before you place the salad in the refrigerator, be sure to submerge the veggies as much as possible in the vinegar mixture.

cucumber onion tomato salad
After pour the dressing over the vegetables be sure to toss them so that they are all coated in the dressing.

But don’t worry if they can’t all be in the liquid. Because as the mixture melds together, more liquid will be released by the veggies.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight for the best flavor.

Once you have eaten some of the cucumber, onion, and tomato salad, feel free to reuse the dressing. Simply add fresh veggies to the liquid mixture and refrigerate as instructed.

You can do this 2-3 times. After that, I would suggest discarding the vinegar mixture and start from scratch again.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad

Refreshing summertime salad that has the perfect balance of tang and sweetness that will have you coming back for more!

Ingredients

  • 3 medium cucumbers peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 medium onion sliced in half moons
  • 3 medium plum tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the cucumbers, onions and tomato ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. In a small bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and whisk until well incorporated. 

  3. Pour liquid mixture over top of the cucumber mixture and toss well to coate. 

  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can continue to add fresh veggies to the liquid mixture as long as the veggies continue to get coated in the dressing.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms