Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad are simple, fresh, and easy summer salads, popular in Russian and Ukrainian kitchens. Growing up, this was a staple on our summer table, with mom picking the tomatoes and cucumbers fresh from our garden. Now it's a staple on my summer dinner table.
There are many different recipes for tomato salads from around the world. It's pretty easy, as tomatoes are a staple in foods in every culture I can think of. Slavs love eating fresh tomatoes in the summer, with so many different ways to enjoy them.
Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Dill
Dill is one of my favorite herbs, and is used extensively in Slavic and Russian cooking. We tend to throw it into everything and this Tomato Salad is no exception. Many people don't know how to use dill, and I think it's and under used herb. It's always growing in my garden, a perfect addition to this summer salad.
When we moved to Australia, I heard people reference dill as 'dill weed'. I had never heard of that before moving here. The term weed has a negative connotation to it. This is far from a weed! Dill is extensively used in Eastern European and Scandinavian cooking. Commonly used to flavor everything from soups, fish, salads and pickles. It's one of the herbs I can't live without.
Russian Tomato Salad Dressing
A popular Slavic way to make Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad (Салат из помидоров и огурцов) is using Smetana or Sour Cream. Homemade Smetana is runnier than the store bought western version, which is thickened with thickeners. Store-bought sour cream is lumpy and hard to mix through the salad, especially with tender tomatoes. Whipping Cream as a liquid, works better to absorb the juices of the fresh cut tomatoes, onions and dill. The flavor combination melds together, creating a delicious salty, tomato juice and onion flavored whipping cream dressing. That's my favorite part of this salad, I love to mopping up with a crusty piece of bread.
So why did my parents and grandparents use whipping cream for this salad? I think that during lean times, war times, you used what you had. Sour Cream takes time to make, and whipping cream would have been available from the farm. You can mix sour cream with whipping cream to make it runnier. Trust me, you're going to love it. You'll never go back to plain sour cream dressing again. Other people might add mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, but plain whipping cream is all you need. It's the perfect base for the onion and tomato juicy flavors to mix together.
How to Make Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad
This is such an easy and rustic recipe to make, one that you'll make every summer. Many Russians have a summer dacha, where they grow vegetables, especially tomatoes and cucumbers. Nothing tastes better than fresh vine ripened tomatoes, which I highly recommend for this recipe. That's probably the secret that makes the dressing so tasty, the vine ripened tomatoes!
I use about ½ a Long English Cucumber in this recipe, but that's not how we grew up eating it. We always grew pickling cucumbers that we used for salads too. Sometimes the skin was too bitter, so we peeled the cucumber skins before slicing. That's not necessary when using store bought cucumbers.
Finally, thinly slice green onions, toss everything together with whipping cream and fresh dill. Don't skip the salt and pepper. This Creamy Tomato Cucumber Salad can't really be made in advance, because the tomatoes become soggy.
Check Out These Other Tomato Recipes!
- Whole Marinated Tomatoes
- Sweet Pepper and Tomato Salad
- Texas Caviar
- Russian Pickled Tomatoes
- Fresh Salsa Fresca
- Tomato Bruschetta
This is my version of a Russian Tomato Salad, always a side dish on our summer dinner table. A 5 salad ingredient recipe that's perfect to make in the summertime. A tasty addition to your summer salad dinner recipes rotation. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 3 large tomatoes
- ½ Long English cucumber
- 3 green onions sliced
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- handful fresh dill chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the long English cucumber in half lengthways, then slice into pieces.
- Cut the tomato into chunky bite size pieces.
- In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber and onions. Pour the whipping cream and mix in the chopped dill. Add the salt and pepper taste.