Monday, July 25, 2011

Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Dill

From garden bounty . . . to kitchen bounty. Tomatoes and cukes by the dozen!

Why is it that the names of tomato varieties sound like the names of drinks in a bar? Consider these: Russian Black, Pink Lady, Big Boy, Brandywine, Green Zebra. Maybe it's a good thing great-tasting tomatoes are seasonal otherwise we'd all end up tomatoholics!

Even if you don't have a garden, cukes and tomatoes are at their peak this time of year and in abundance at farmers' markets. 

  • 1 lb. tomatoes, seeded and cut up (about 2 cups)
  • 2 lb. medium cucumbers, seeded and cut up (about 4 cups)
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts (about 1/4 cup, cut)
  • 1 small-medium clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh-cut dill
  • 5 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Cut tomatoes in half. Squeeze out the seeds and cut into pieces. Peel cucumbers. Remove seeds with a spoon and cut up into random-sized pieces. Add to tomatoes. Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and mix through. Place in colander over a bowl or plate and allow to drain for at least 1/2 hour. This will prevent your salad from becoming watery.

Mix the mayo and sour cream. Add the garlic and dill. Stir. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Add drained cucumber and tomatoes in a shallow bowl. Add green onions. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add a quality, and I emphasize quality, aged Balsamic vinegar, about 1/2-1 teaspoon. Mix through. Now add the sour cream dressing and toss to incorporate.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving. 

Note: This is particularly good served over pulled bread from an artisan loaf or pieces of cornbread. The bread absorbs the wonderful juices. Serve as a side to grilled chicken breast or white fish.