This salad is so simple. Straight from my garden where cherry tomatoes are ripening and tiny pickling cucumbers are finally starting to take off. It's a favorite of mine at this time of year. If you're not growing your own then a trip to the farmers' market is always fun! I love walking up and down the aisles for local produce this time of year.
The dressing is made with a few things I keep on hand.
This small jar of dried herbs and coarse sea salt is something I always have handy for making seasoned olive oil for dipping crusty French bread. My grandsons love dipping their bread and they recently discovered that a grilled cheese tastes great dipped into the seasoned olive oil :) The herb blend is simply equal parts dried basil and oregano with a good pinch of dried red pepper flakes and an extra big pinch of coarse sea salt. Shake it up, put in a shallow dish and add extra-virgin olive oil. Dip away!
I found it also makes a great dressing for fresh tomatoes. I just add a couple shakes of the herb blend, drizzle the salad with olive oil and add a tiny splash of good red wine vinegar. Today, I added a salsa pepper that I am also growing and snipped some fresh basil over the top. A little grind of black pepper. Toss. Eat. Enjoy.
This is more of a method than an actual recipe - feel free to experiment!
Cherry Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Herb Dressing
Seasoned Herb Blend (to use as a dressing for tomatoes and cucumbers or to mix with olive oil for bread dipping)
1/4 cup dried California basil
1/4 cup dried Turkish oregano
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
Put everything into a small jar and shake until blended together.
To make seasoned olive oil for bread dipping, for one person place about 1 teaspoon in a small, shallow dish and cover with olive oil.
To make the Cherry Tomato and Cucumber Salad:
Cherry Tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
Small cucumbers or pickling cucumbers, sliced
Sweet peppers or salsa peppers, diced (optional)
Add as many tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers as you would like to serve each person. Season with the herb blend (about 1-2 teaspoons per person). Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and add a small splash of red wine vinegar. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and toss. Add freshly chopped basil, if desired.