Foodie, Recipes


By The Clever Meal

This no-frills cucumber, tomato, and onion salad is refreshing, light, and flavorful. It’s the perfect summer salad—delicious and fresh, it goes well with everything.


  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red or white vinegar
  • Basil & oregano
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper


(Note: this is a quick description; the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters and the cucumber into thick slices. I recommend using a mandoline only to slice the red onion finely, but you’ll want to keep cucumber and tomatoes nice and chunky.
  • Add everything to a salad bowl along with the basil.
  • Place the dressing ingredients in a glass jar, screw on the lid, and shake vigorously until emulsified.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine, and serve. We enjoy this with crostinifocaccia, or crusty panini rollsBuon appetito (enjoy)!



Tomatoes: Choose ripe and juicy tomatoes (plum, Roma, cherry, on the vine, work fine), cut them into nice chunks, and remove excess water before adding the salad dressing.

Cucumber: Use a fresh and firm cucumber and cut it into thick slices for more texture. I prefer English/Telegraph cucumbers because they’re usually sweeter, and there’s no need to peel them. Persian/Lebanese cucumbers work fine, too, but I use two or even three as they are smaller.

Onion: I love red onions; they are key ingredients for most Italian salads. They’re sweeter than regular onions and packed with antioxidants. Make sure they are fresh and firm. However, you can swap them for white onion or green onions if you wish.

Extra virgin olive oil: This is another go-to ingredient for Italian salad dressings; it’s not negotiable, I’m afraid. LOL. Use good-quality fruity olive oil to make your tomatoes and cucumbers shine.

Vinegar: I used red wine vinegar for this salad, another typical Italian ingredient for salad dressing, but cider or white wine vinegar is perfectly fine as substitutions.

Herbs: We use dried oregano, which instantly adds Mediterranean flavor and fresh aromatic basil leaves. But you can use fresh parsley instead of basil or play around with your favorite fresh herbs.

Garlic: A touch of garlic works wonders in a fresh salad, but feel free to skip it if it is hard to digest.

Salt & pepper: Make sure to taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.


This salad is so simple yet versatile and a breeze to customize. I love it as it is, but you can layer in your favorite add-ins if you wish: avocado, arugula, fennel, grilled veggies, feta, mozzarella balls, and olives are all great.


Since the cucumber and tomatoes release moisture when combined with the dressing and salt, I recommend adding the dressing just before serving. You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days, but they will become more watery over time, diluting the flavor. If needed, you can remove excess liquid and revive the dressing with more seasoning and olive oil.

I’m sure you will love these fresh, big flavors. Add the ingredients to your shopping list and make cucumber tomato onion salad soon!


  • 1 lb (450 grams) medium-size ripe tomatoes
  • 1 long English cucumber
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 10 basil leaves


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated or pressed
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then slice it into thick slices. Finely slice the half onion and shred the basil.
  • Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Check the bottom of the bowl. If the tomatoes release too much water, you might want to drain off a bit of the liquid before adding the dressing (too much water will wash down the flavor).


  • Add the dressing ingredients to a jar with a tightly fitted lid. Shake vigorously until emulsified. Alternatively, whisk together the dressing ingredients into a small bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and mix very well to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more fine salt if necessary. Then sprinkle with extra fresh basil and enjoy!


Cucumber: Use 1 long English/Telegraph cucumber (no need to peel). Alternatively, 2 or 3 smaller Persian/Lebanese cucumbers work fine, too.