This is the salad I always make when the first round of summer produce begins trickling in, and many, many times after that throughout the rest of the season. The combination of cucumbers, basil, and tomatoes could not be any more perfect, seasoned simply with some flaky salt and olive oil. This salad is pure summer perfection in a bowl, which brings such joy every time I make it.
This could be used as the base for many salad combinations, making this another one of my customize-able recipes. Rosemary, parsley, or oregano would all be very suitable swaps for the basil. Tomatoes of any shape and size would work great, but I love this with cherry tomatoes. Add feta, mozzarella, cannellini or garbanzo beans for protein. Add fresh peppers, pickled peppers, pickled onions, or some red wine vinegar for a little extra punch. The possibilities are endless! Stay tuned – you may start to see some of my favorite variations on this salad appear on the blog throughout the summer.
The point of this salad is that it’s quick, it’s super fresh, and it celebrates the best of summer. Because both cucumbers and tomatoes tend to get watery as they sit, this salad is best eaten freshly made, making this the perfect work from home or weekend treat. Ideally, garden fresh or farmers market produce works best here as it allows the fresh, local harvest to shine – but use whatever beautiful produce you have access to!
I hope this salad makes it to your table at some point over the summer. It’s already been to mine, and I can’t wait for a repeat appearance soon!
Recipe down below, photo up top!
The Ultimate Summer Salad
- 1 small to medium cucumber, sliced into rounds
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
- 10-15 leaves of basil, sliced into thin strips (chiffonade)
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp flaky (Maldon) salt
- Wash and slice your vegetables, starting with the tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Immediately before serving, slice the basil and add to the tomatoes and cucumbers. Add the salt and olive oil as well, stir to combine.
- The fresh basil will brown quickly after cutting, and the salt will draw out the moisture from the tomatoes and cucumbers, eventually turning the salad watery. Best to wait until immediately ready to serve to do this step!