Summer Minted Cucumber & Tomato Salad

3rd August, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in Salads, easy

Our CSA farm has been providing beautiful tomatoes and cucumbers over the past couple weeks, and though there’s never really a shortage of ideas for things to do with them, here’s a great, simple summer salad that’s cool and refreshing. It’s brightened with fresh mint leaves, and a little oregano gives it a touch of the mediterranean. Don’t worry about measurements with this one, and add or subtract other ingredients as the spirit moves you.

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 4oz pancetta, diced, fried crispy and drained
  • 1 large ripe cucumber [1], diced
  • 3-4 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 4-5oz feta or queso cotija, diced, or shave some parmigiano!
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small, sweet onion, chopped (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 10-20 mint leaves, chiffonade [2]
  • Olive oil, lemon juice or sherry (or champagne!) vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method – A few minutes

While the pancetta is frying, prepare the remaining ingredients, adding them to a bowl large enough to hold everything with a little breathing room. Drizzle with enough olive oil (I like a nice, assertive peppery oil from southern Italy for this) to coat, about 2 Tbsp, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a little vinegar. Toss to coat, and adjust seasoning. Add the pancetta and toss to combine.

Let the salad stand in the fridge for at least 20 minutes for the flavors to combine. When serving, garnish with some shaved parmigiano and fresh mint sprigs.

Make more than you think you’ll need, because it seems to get devoured pretty quickly. Any leftovers can be refrigerated and added to a green salad the next day!

1. Depending on variety, you may want to peel it or not. I’ve been using Armenian cucumbers that have a wonderfully soft skin. Taste it first. If it’s bitter, it’s better naked.

2. Rinse, shake off, strip (the mint, not the cook) and roll a few of the leaves into a fairly tight little cigar, then slice thinly crosswise. Do this just before assembling the salad, and do not over-handle the delicate leaves, or they’ll lose some of their freshness.

One Response

  1. Summer Minted Cucumber & Tomato Salad | BC Richardson Says:

    [...] Summer Minted Cucumber & Tomato Salad [...]