A Recipe To Die For: Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives and Feta


With the extreme hot and humid summer weather that currently weighs heavily upon us here in the Northeast, all I have the desire to consume lately are foods that are watery, cool, and refreshing.

Therefore, I've been craving and eating A LOT of salads.

Now before I share this to die for recipe, allow me to give you a little backstory on my favorite cuisine...

My Food History:

I pretty much eat a Mediterranean diet. Things like: whole grain pasta and breads, couscous, hummus, tabouli, feta and Asiago cheese, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, herbs, olive oil, and red wine. I eat very little meat. And that's not something I consciously do because I think it's healthy, rather it is a diet I'm just organically drawn to and enjoy. The look and flavor of Mediterranean cuisine is heavenly to me because it literally feels as if it's connected to my soul.

However, the only thing I don't eat that is considered part of a Mediterranean diet is fish or seafood. And that's ironic because I was raised in a family that LOVED it. Traditionally Catholic and Italian, we had seafood every Friday night for dinner and every Christmas Eve (Feast of Seven Fishes). I did try seafood a few times when I was a kid, but did not like it at all. Eventually, I simply refused to eat it. So, whenever my mother would serve fish or seafood, she would make me some sort of pasta dish with a salad. In my youth, that was the only thing I was adamant about when it came to eating - NO FISH OR SEAFOOD OF ANY KIND.

I don't know why (perhaps it has something to do with a bad experience I had with fish/seafood in one of my past lives in Greece - ha!), but fish and seafood are so unappealing to me.

In fact, that was the one and only thing that was an adjustment while living in Japan for two months. The Japanese are HUGE fish and seafood eaters (and much of it raw). But I was able to find other things to eat - vegetable tempura, noodles, rice, miso soup with soy, and occasionally the most scrumptiously tender and sweet-tasting Kobe beef.

Lately, I've been surfing the Web in search of different salad recipes so that I can change things up a bit this summer. And lucky for me, I happened to find a fabulous foodie blog (Five Heart Home) with some of the most easy-to-make and yummy-looking recipes. Which by the way, is where I found this recipe: Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives and Feta 


Ingredients:

Dill & Garlic Dressing:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

*please note: I've also made this salad simply using fresh garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar as the dressing, and it tasted fabulous as well.

Salad:

1 pound tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half, or about 3 large tomatoes, seeded & chopped)
1 pound cucumbers (approximately 2 large or 4 small), diced
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, drained, pitted, & chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh dill, for garnish


For the dressing:

In a medium bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until thoroughly blended. Alternatively, you may place ingredients in a jar, tighten the lid, and shake until incorporated.

For the salad:

In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Toss with dressing until everything is evenly coated.
Cover salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, removing from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Drain off any excess dressing and garnish with dill, if desired.


Hope you enjoy!
X
P.S. This salad tastes incredible with some artisan bread and a glass of red wine!


Two Other To Die For Recipes:

29 comments

  1. It certainly looks more appetizing than fish and chips! I might give this a go, Ron, perhaps the wonderful colours and a different taste is what I need. My appetite has changed now that I'm older and fish is definitely off my menu. Once upon a time fish was all I would eat but suddenly it tastes different - to me, anyway. I was never one for eating salad but the one you've shown is positively mouthwatering.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I did not know you hated seafood, Ron! But I love all the foods you mentioned and could easily live on just those things. Because we grow tomatoes and cucumbers, I've tried this salad before (there aren't a ton of cuke/tomato recipes out there) and it is delicious! In fact, my daughter 'harvested' her first cucumbers of the season yesterday. I will have to make this recipe again soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ron, this dish looks positively delicious! I'll have to try this recipe. I am also not a fan of fish or seafood. "(perhaps it has something to do with a bad experience I had with fish/seafood in one of my past lives in Greece - ha!)" LOL! Loved that!

    My favorite food is Italian. My favorite wine is red! Don't you just love cheese?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Ron, those salads sound very good, I know you have mentioned not liking seafood before, I remember because that is something you and Cindy have in common, I sometimes order seafood when we go out so I can have a full meal (she is notorious for sampling my food), now if I had one of your salads I'm afraid she would eat both hers and mine.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ron, you're a man after my own heart, I am obsessed with Mediterranean cuisine. OMG, this salad looks incredible! And I smiled at your mention of the Feast of Seven Fishes because being Italian myself, I know it very well. I don't eat fish or seafood a lot, but I do enjoy it. Never anything raw like sushi, but I really like salmon and shellfish, lobster and crab. One of my sons is like you, he doesn't care for fish of any kind. He says it can't stand the smell.

    Hasn't the heat and humidity been horrible? Today we got a little break, but for the past two weeks it's been so uncomfortable.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe because I will definitely try it this week. We've been eating a lot of salads and fruits this summer too.

    Stay cool, Ron!

    ReplyDelete
  6. "With the extreme hot and humid summer weather that currently weighs heavily upon us here in the Northeast, all I have the desire to consume lately are foods that are watery, cool, and refreshing." Ron, I hear you because it's been the same where I live. I normally don't mind summer (or the that comes with it) but this year has been so intense. I can't stand the humidity!

    This salad ROCKS! Damn, just the sight of it makes me hungry. I plan on sharing this with my girlfriend so that we can go shopping this week to pick up the ingredients. She and I both love salads because we're both semi-vegetarians LOL, so this is something we'd both enjoy!

    Thanks for sharing, dude!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm pretty sure that's a salad I would enjoy, as I appreciate Mediterranean cuisine and always have hummus and feta on hand. Thanks for the recipe! Unlike you, however, I've developed much more of an appreciation for fish and seafood as I've gotten older.

    Say, I've hot a fantastic recipe for oysters on the half shell if you're interested! What's that? Right after you finish your Philly cheesesteak? Okie doke, my friend. Standing by!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Helloooooo there Valerie!

    I do hope that if you give it a go you enjoy it. Even if you're not a salad lover, I think you will enjoy this one because it seems and tastes more like an entree meal than a salad, because it's full of delicious things, without any lettuce.

    My appetite has changed as I've gotten older as well. Things I enjoyed in the past no longer hold an interest for me. I have to say that as I've gotten older though, I've turned into a big time FOODIE. I LOVE to eat!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous rest of your week!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, I've never been a fan of any kind of fish or seafood - the the way it looks, the way it smells. And it was funny because in Japan, I would see things like raw octopus in their grocery stores and CRINGE!@#!$

    "Because we grow tomatoes and cucumbers, I've tried this salad before (there aren't a ton of cuke/tomato recipes out there) and it is delicious! In fact, my daughter 'harvested' her first cucumbers of the season yesterday. I will have to make this recipe again soon!"

    OMG...that's AWESOME! And there is nothing quite like the taste of home-grown tomatoes and cucumbers.

    I love the combination of tomatoes and cucumbers together, don't you? Sometimes I'll make a very simple salad with cucumbers, Rome tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, with just olive oil and red wine vinegar. LOVE it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantabulous rest of your week!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  10. Greetings Candice!

    OMG...when I spotted this recipe on her blog, I immediately had to make it the very next day and LOVED it!!! She has many other recipes that are great as well. Simply to make and tasty!

    Yes, I love Italian food too. It's the BOMB! And cheese? OMG...I ADORE cheese! My faves are Feta and Asiago. But I also love Romano. I love hard and very sharp tasting cheeses.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific rest of your week!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey there Jimmy!

    "I know you have mentioned not liking seafood before, I remember because that is something you and Cindy have in common."

    Yes, in past posts I have definitely mentioned my not liking seafood. Many, many years ago I think I actually wrote a post about SUSHI.

    "I sometimes order seafood when we go out so I can have a full meal (she is notorious for sampling my food), now if I had one of your salads I'm afraid she would eat both hers and mine."

    HAHAHAHAHHAHA! OMG... how funny! I didn't know Cindy was a food sampler!?!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, bud. Hope you and Cindy are enjoying a fabulous summer that's cooler than it is here. OMG...it is so hot and humid.
    X

    ReplyDelete
  12. You too, Elaine? Isn't Mediterranean cuisine the BOMB? All my life I've just been naturally drawn to it. I love how it all tastes. I like to eat many small meals throughout the day, so Mediterranean food is perfect for that because it fills me up, but I don't ever feel bloated or uncomfortable. It's very easy digest too.

    "I smiled at your mention of the Feast of Seven Fishes because being Italian myself, I know it very well. "

    OMG, my father would fry Smelts (for like TWO hours) to make for the Feast of Seven Fishes. Our whole house smelled like FISH, it was horrendous!

    "Hasn't the heat and humidity been horrible? Today we got a little break, but for the past two weeks it's been so uncomfortable."

    Yes, thank god we got a break today because the weather was wearing me out. I have no energy when it gets that hot and humid. I am SO READY for Fall already! We lost our electricity at work two days ago, and I thought I would going to faint because of having no A/C. Thank god we got it turned back on later that night.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Enjoy the rest of your week and stay cool!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hiya Matt!

    "Ron, I hear you because it's been the same where I live. I normally don't mind summer (or the heat that comes with it) but this year has been so intense. I can't stand the humidity!"

    Has it been that way where you live too? Yes, the humidity is what's been the worst. We got a bit of a break today because it rained and cooled things off.

    "I plan on sharing this with my girlfriend so that we can go shopping this week to pick up the ingredients. She and I both love salads because we're both semi-vegetarians LOL, so this is something we'd both enjoy!"

    Oh good! And I hope you and your girlfriend enjoy it as much as I did. OMG...I LOVED it! In fact, I will be making it again this weekend. Don't forget to try it with artisan bread because you can dip it into the olive oil dressing. FAAAABULOUS!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent rest of your week!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mark, I know you (being a foodie like me) would LOVE this salad. It's perfect for hot summer days because it's light, cool, and refreshing. And it also tastes faaaaaaabulous!

    OMG...don't you just love hummus and feta? I always have those two things on hand as well.

    "Unlike you, however, I've developed much more of an appreciation for fish and seafood as I've gotten older."

    Yes, I know other people who have shared the same thing, as they've gotten older...they've learned to appreciate fish/seafood. Who knows, maybe one day it may happen to me. NOT!

    "'Say, I've hot a fantastic recipe for oysters on the half shell if you're interested! What's that? Right after you finish your Philly cheesesteak? Okie doke, my friend. Standing by!"

    Bwhahahahahahaha! You CRACK ME THE HELL UP! And do you know what's really hilarious? I was going to say something to YOU on this post about how much I didn't like fish and would rather eat even a CHEESESTEAK than seafood! You were reading my mind!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous rest of your week!

    X to you and Tara

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ron, this salad is so pretty! And I imagine it's incredibly healthy, too! I've never developed a taste for black olives or cucumbers, but I suspect I can substitute colored peppers and green olives and it would taste just fine.

    Unlike you, I LOVE fish ... when it's prepared right. I love lobster, too, but I'm not much into shrimp or crab or oysters. I know just what you mean about having to eat fish every Friday night as a kid, though my mom often served us mac and cheese (or Chef BoyRDee, ha!)

    When it's this hot, I practically live on watermelon! And popsicles! Isn't it funny how our diet changes when the temps soar into the 90s?!?

    Stay cool, my friend, and enjoy the rest of your week. xx

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have made this salad many times and just love it. Unfortunately, my husband doesn't like raw tomatoes, so when I make it now I either leave them out or sauté them a little. We eat mostly a Mediterranean diet, too. I'm convinced it is the healthiest and it's also so delicious! Chicken and seafood here, but no mammal. I know lots of people don't like seafood but I adore it. Any kind, really. And I could eat sushi every day of my life. In fact, we're going out for sushi tonight! I remember my kids discovering fried calamari in the West Indies and wondering where it had been all their lives. And my youngest son and I had a tradition, when he was still at home, of going to half-price sushi night together about every other weekend. But all that said - a good salad with fresh bread and red wine is pretty close to heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey there, Rob!

    Aren't the recipes FAB? I bookmarked several of them so that I can try them this summer. And I like them because they're easy and fast to make.

    "! I never liked fish when I was a kid and there are a few kinds of seafood I'll have now--and I've never been to Greece!"

    HA! I know that YOU (being Catholic and attended Catholic School) are familiar with the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope you had a good time on your business trip last week.

    X

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hellooooooooo there Debbie!

    I agree, not only do I love the taste of this salad, but I love the look of it as well. And yes, you can definitely substitute things in this salad to items that you prefer. As I shared, I changed the dressing the second time I made it and it tasted awesome! I've also substituted the feta cheese with Asiago and it was fabulous!

    "I know just what you mean about having to eat fish every Friday night as a kid, though my mom often served us mac and cheese (or Chef BoyRDee, ha!)"

    I know you (being raised Catholic), know what it was like to eat something NON-meat on Friday, two days before you would receive communion on Sunday. And speaking of Chef BoyRDee, I used love eating their canned ravioli's when I went off to college in New York City. It was cheap, fast to make, and didn't taste bad.

    "When it's this hot, I practically live on watermelon! And popsicles! Isn't it funny how our diet changes when the temps soar into the 90s?!?"

    OMG....I LOVE watermelon! And also red grapes. Yummy!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Stay cool, and have a great rest of your week!

    X

    ReplyDelete
  19. OMG, you know, I never thought to saute' tomatoes before using them in a salad. I bet that would taste GREAT!

    It's funny because I have always been attracted to a Mediterranean diet never knowing how healthy it is until late in my life. To me, that diet just feels so right for my own body.

    Yes, I know that I am in the small minority when it comes to not liking fish or seafood. Most people think because I'm Italian that I automatically love it.

    " But all that said - a good salad with fresh bread and red wine is pretty close to heaven."

    A-MEN! A good salad. Bread. And some red wine. HEAVEN!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a FAB rest of your week!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  20. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comJuly 28, 2017

    MMm - that salad looks delicious. I urge you to try watermelon and feta in a salad - super delicious too!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Fiona, thanks so much for the recommendation, that sounds INCREDIBLE! I LOVE watermelon but have tried with with feta!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super weekend!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love salads! Some of that looks quite delicious... just leave out the dill, and the olives, and the raw garlic in the dressing. LOL Okay, that's really changing it.... but... the beauty of salad is that one just should put everything they want and love together and enjoy! I do like garlic, sorry to those who I have to speak with after eating it, haha, but it just has to be roasted first so my tummy won't get hurties.
    I eat some seafood, but am selective about it. Crab and shrimp is mmm flounder and cod yes, but since having big problems with scallops I just stay away. I was actually tested for allergies, and don't have any to seafood, but still get reactions at times so better to avoid.
    And yes yes yes yes yes yes to the artisan bread and wine! I got a couple half loaves at Wegmans the other day and we'll be enjoying leftovers tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  23. "the beauty of salad is that one just should put everything they want and love together and enjoy!"

    I agree, Mary! A salad can be anything you want. I even change a few things in the dressing of this salad and enjoyed it just as much as the original. I even added some basil to this salad.

    OMG, garlic is one of those things (as it is with basil) that I could eat on everything. I make pasta usually once a week and go heavy on the garlic, basil, AND olive oil.

    "And yes yes yes yes yes yes to the artisan bread and wine! I got a couple half loaves at Wegmans the other day and we'll be enjoying leftovers tonight."

    Isn't artisan bread the BEST? And speaking of Wegmans, I went to a Wegmans for the first time several years ago and was blown away but the GLORIOUS selection of foods, and all so beautifully displayed and prepared. I wish we had a Wegmans here in Philadelphia.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Enjoy your weekend!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Ron
    [I posted a comment yesterday but fear it vanished as my PC crashed straight afterwards! So at the risk of repeating myself, here goes again...]
    That salad looks absolutely delicious, Ron! My type of food... I'm a fan of the Mediterranean diet too, except I do love fish ;-)
    Tomato, cucumber, olives and a great big hunk of feta, with a generous glug of olive oil... takes me back to my travels in Greece :-) Yum!
    Hope you are keeping cool this weekend - we're not suffering in the heat in the UK at all - more rain than shine...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Nat!

    Thank you SO MUCH for stopping back and re-commenting. Sorry about that. I hope it wasn't because of something on my end because Disqus can get weird sometimes and eat comments.

    You love Mediterranean food too? Isn't it delicious? I've been eating so many salads this summer because of the horrendous heat we've been experiencing. However, these past few days have been lovely because there's been NO humidity. In fact, yesterday and today almost felt like an early peek into Autumn :)

    "Tomato, cucumber, olives and a great big hunk of feta, with a generous glug of olive oil... takes me back to my travels in Greece :-) Yum!"

    OMG...one of these days I have got to visit Greece because I know I would LOVE it!

    Thanks again for stopping back, my friend. I really appreciate that.

    Have a super week!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love cheese, but it hates me. Subtract the feta, and I would love this. Those photos are jumping right off the page. I want to eat this very soon! As soon as you said you didn't eat fish in any manner, I thought of when you lived in Japan. You must have eaten a LOT of tofu.
    Kobe beef! Talk about melt in your mouth good...

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey there Pat!

    I know many people who love cheese but it doesn't agree with them as well.

    Aren't the photos faaaaaaaabulous? I wish I could credit for them but they were taken from the blog where I found this recipe. She takes such great photographs!

    "As soon as you said you didn't eat fish in any manner, I thought of when you lived in Japan. You must have eaten a LOT of tofu.
    Kobe beef! Talk about melt in your mouth good..."

    HA! Yes, I did eat a lot of tofu as well. Isn't Kobe beef AMAZING? Yes....melts in your mouth good!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Mary V WalshAugust 12, 2017

    Hey Ron!
    Just happened upon your blog through my son who sent me a clip of Joan Crawford (scrubbing the bathroom floors from 'Mommie Dearest'-loved the movie and book;) ...
    This salad looks Delicious!!!!!! I can't wait to make it! Yes, will pick up Artisan bread... not sure I have had it, but sure I will ... (one of my very favorites is French banquette;)
    I do love anything Mediterranean, love seafood- (my hubby is just like you, grew up Catholic and hates any seafood, lol... I grew up Methodist, but when we married in 2010, I went through RCIA-Catechism and now am Catholic;)
    My oldest son is living in Okinawa, Japan and loves it. And I do enjoy sushi, miso, tofu... but have never had the Kobe beef? I have heard of it but have never tried it.
    I love love feta cheese and I never knew I liked hummus with olives and onion until I tried it at a small restaurant in NYC. Now I eat it a few times per week.
    I love your photography, so beautiful and did read you are going back to NYC to live. I love NYC and would have loved to have gone to Parson's School of Design... I graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and we went to NYC for part of our internship / grade. Just love the people, sites, buildings, small hole in the wall type restaurants, just the smell when you walk by the restaurants and love the architecture!
    Have never really kept up or read any blogs, but will be coming back to yours to read your through your vast array of topics. ( I just subscribed ;)
    You are absolutely delightful, a breath of fresh air!!!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Enjoy your weekend !!!
    Mary
    (From the South where our heat index is well over a 100 in August, geez!)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Greetings Mary, and welcome! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your comment!

    Yes, I love anything "Joan Crawford" (or "Bette Davis") - I love the movie classics. I have a huge collection of black and white movies.

    "My oldest son is living in Okinawa, Japan and loves it."

    I lived there (Kobe) for 2 months and loved it. I also visited Kyoto and thought it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Such a beautiful energy.

    "did read you are going back to NYC to live. I love NYC and would have loved to have gone to Parson's School of Design... I graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and we went to NYC for part of our internship / grade. Just love the people, sites, buildings, small hole in the wall type restaurants, just the smell when you walk by the restaurants and love the architecture!"

    Isn't NYC faaaabulous? I know it's not for everyone, but I adore it. I love the energy there. Yes, my plan is to move back next year at the end of August because my lease is up then. I'll have this next year to go back and forth to NYC to check out where I want to live (and can afford). I will also be transfering with my job, so I will be checking out different stores. And speaking of Parson's, I walk past there often when visiting Manhattan. What a great school!

    Again, thanks so much for stopping by, so nice to meet you! Have a super weekend!

    P.S. I used to live in the South (various parts of Florida) so I know what you mean about the heat- ugh!

    ReplyDelete

I moderate all comments before publishing. Thank you for stopping by.