by Olena

Ukrainian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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Olena Osipov
5 from 19 votes

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Ukrainian Cucumber and Tomato Salad is a classic fresh and light salad that goes with everything! This easy salad with juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, slivers of red onion and fresh dill will become your go-to year-round.

This salad is a staple on our summer table alongside Ukrainian vinegar slaw, tomato mozzarella salad and lettuce salad recipe.

Cucumber and tomato salad with red onion and dill in white bowl.

This salad is something I ate every other day during the summer as a child along with healthy cucumber salad. It is the most popular salad recipe in Ukraine, Russia and many other Slavic countries.

It’s on the same level of popularity as Olivier salad.

I also believe this salad combination is incredibly popular all over the globe. With its own regional twist, of course.

Because it’s that good! It’s healthy, affordable, and easy to make any time of the year.

I love to make this salad during summer with my homegrown cucumbers and tomatoes or farmer’s market produce. That’s when it’s the best! However, we make it for dinner all the time and there is nothing more cheerful on a dreary rainy winter night than a bowl of fresh and crunchy salad.

Ingredients You Will Need

Olive oil, cucumbers, toasted sesame oil, dill, tomatoes, red onion, salt and pepper.

The key to making this salad is to select the best tomatoes and cucumbers at the grocery store. And I am also using one ingredient that makes salad special but you can omit it. Here is what you need:

  • Cucumber: I like to use either long English cucumber or pickle cucumbers. Select firm and plum ones.
  • Tomatoes: My preferred store-bought variety is “tomatoes on the vine”. During summer, any heirloom variety, beefsteak or Roma tomatoes in season will be great. Cherry or grape tomatoes are great too.
  • Onion: I prefer to use red onion or shallots in fresh salads, as they aren’t as harsh. But yellow or white onion would also work. Alternatively, you could omit it entirely.
  • Dill: It’s a classic herb for Ukrainian cucumber tomato onion salad. Alternatively use parsley, cilantro, or scallions.
  • Olive oil: I like extra virgin olive oil for a more pronounced taste.
  • Toasted sesame oil: This is my secret ingredient that is reminiscent of unrefined sunflower oil we always used to dress up this salad. You can omit it and use more of olive oil, it’s not a deal breaker.
  • Salt and black pepper.

How to Make Cucumber and Tomato Salad

The key to making this salad is to prep it right before serving as it tastes best fresh!

Chopping cucumbers on a cutting board with a knife.

The process is really very simple. All you have to do is chop the tomatoes and cucumbers into same sized pieces, ensuring the even distribution of ingredients in every bite. Make sure your knife is sharpened because there is nothing worse than a dull knife squishing juicy tomatoes.

I do not peel cucumbers unless it is full grown garden cucumber that has thick and bitter skin. Or any cucumber with a tough skin. No fun to eat that.

Drizzling sesame oil over a bowl with tomato, cucumber, red onion, dill and spices.

Then, finely slice the red onion and transfer all three to a large serving bowl. Chop the dill.

We never made the dressing separately, there is no need. Add the oils, salt and pepper to the bowl and toss lightly.

Stirring cucumber tomato salad in white bowl with wooden spoon.

With soft salads like this, it’s best to toss them gently with a large spoon rather than using tongs. Start in the middle of the bowl going under all ingredients with a large spoon, and rotate the bowl as you keep stirring.

This will help you avoid squashing the tomatoes or bruising any ingredients.

Then taste the tomato cucumber salad and adjust any of the seasonings, if necessary.

I have to stress that it’s best to eat this salad within a few hours of making it. That’s when it tastes fresh and crunchy!

Cucumber and tomato salad with red onion and dill in white bowl.

Can I Make It Ahead?

Yes, for sure. If you want to prepare the tomato cucumber salad in advance, add veggies and herbs to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, add olive oil, toasted sesame oil, salt, and pepper.

As soon as you add the salt, pepper and oil to the salad, it will encourage the veggies to release their juices. Otherwise, keep salad ingredients “dry” and you can make it ahead for sure. It literally takes 1 minute to season the salad!

More Fun Additions

Because of the simplicity of this salad recipe, there are tons of ways to adjust the recipe and use it as a foundation to layer other fresh and tasty ingredients!

Add a splash of your favorite vinegar or squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice for a zing. Make it creamy with plain Instant Pot yogurt or sour cream and omit the oils like I do in creamy cucumber tomato salad.

Toss in crumbled feta cheese or mini bocconcini (mozzarella balls) like I do in Italian pasta salad!

Add diced avocado. The sky’s the limit!

How to Serve the Salad?

Honestly, this cucumber tomato salad is one of the most versatile salads on the blog and can be served with practically any main dish. Here are some of my favorite suggestions, though.

With healthy mashed potatoes and grandma’s chicken patties (“kotlety”), that’s how I remember this salad most of the times!

With healthy turkey burgers at a BBQ.

During a holiday meal of boneless leg of lamb roast.

To enjoy leftover salad, I recommend using some rye bread or other crusty bread to dip into all the juices at the bottom of the salad. I did that all the time as a child and my goodness, it’s delicious!

FAQs

Can you use dried dill in this tomato cucumber salad?

I do not recommend it. Dried dill tastes very different from fresh dill. You will not like it in this salad, I promise. Trust me!

How long will it last in the refrigerator?

As both ingredients have high water content, the salad can quickly go limp. For that reason, it’s best to enjoy it at soon as possible.

Though it can last 1-2 days in the fridge. If you want it to last as long as possible, only season the salad (with dressing) just before serving.

More Salad Recipes You Will Love

You might also enjoy my list of 52 healthy salad recipes!

Cucumber and tomato salad with red onion and dill in white bowl.
Ukrainian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ukrainian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ukrainian Cucumber and Tomato Salad is a classic fresh and light salad that goes with everything!
4.95 from 19 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 88kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, dill, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper.
  • Stir gently from the bottom in the center of the bowl until well combined.
  • Salad tastes best when served immediately.

Store: Refrigerate salad for up to 24 hours.

    Make Ahead: Refrigerate all vegetables in a bowl covered. Then add oils, salt and pepper right before serving.

      Video

      Notes

      • Best tomatoes to use: In summer heirloom varieties, and tomatoes on the vine when it comes to store-bought.
      • Don’t add the salt too early. As soon as you add the salt, the juices from the tomato and cucumber will start to release.
      • Substitute for toasted sesame oil: Use more of olive oil.
      • Add garlic: Tiny grated garlic clove will add a lot of flavor.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1cup | Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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      35 comments on “Ukrainian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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      1. 5 stars
        just read a couple of the comments and find it strange that people make comments that have nothing to do with the recipe.i chanced on your site and found this salad at odds with the usual salads i make in SCOTLAND and i will say i found them very much to my taste.your variations on your recipes are your culture and i for one like the variations. keep up your recipes and thank you very much.

      2. 5 stars
        was funny not to use lettuce for this salad but it works.really enjoyed this dish and made a chicken side dish which went down well.will now use your other salad recipes.thanks.

      3. 5 stars
        Absolutely delicious! The sesame oil with minimal vinegar is a great spin on the traditional, vinegary tomato and cucumber salad.

        My veggie fussy bestie adored it!

      4. 5 stars
        Super good especially when I use tomatoes and cukes from my garden as Ukrainian usually do! Yum!

        1. Laughter is healthy, so please laugh often. In fact, this is a Ukrainian way of making a salad that each culture and country has their own version of. There are many recipes that share same base ingredients with variations for each region. I am sharing this salad from my childhood how we ate it in Ukraine. Simple Google search reveals different versions of basic cucumber tomato salad. This is Ukrainian way. What do you find funny about it, Nina?

          1. 5 stars
            Everything is Ukrainian nowadays. Even this salad which is eaten casually by hair of the world differently became Ukrainian 😂

            1. Yep. My Ukrainian cucumber tomato salad. Made differently by my part of the world where I am from and therefore called Ukrainian. And please note, I am from Ukraine and you are on my website where I can share any recipes I want, especially Ukrainian. I can call even chicken noodle soup Ukrainian cause it is my Ukrainian grandma’s soup. Now, if I were a black woman from let’s say Georgia, posting Ukrainian recipes, you could get on the rant train. But for now, Andrew, you go it right and if you have any issues with current political situation and would like to express your frustrations, websites like CNN and Foxnews are best places for you to have a discussion with like minded folks. Here we talk about recipes. Hope this helps and have a great weekend!

      5. 4 stars
        Great – I halved the recipe. I didn’t have fresh dill so used dry. Didn’t have toasted sesame oil, but had regular sesame oil. Really enjoyed the ease and taste. I’m single so don’t often buy heads of lettuce because I end up throwing half of them out. Have enough cucumber and tomato to try it tonight with sour cream. Thanks!

      6. 5 stars
        Hi Olena,
        I am so grateful to have found your website where I can put healthy but easy meals on the table.This recipe was simple but wonderful. Like your vegetable soup also 5 stars which I made in my dutch oven and the delicious and healthy slower cooker recipes. I have always loved the concept of the slow cooker but have never found recipes that were truly healthy and with simple healthy ingredients until your recipes which are amazing. They are what I have always wanted simple ingredients that I understand and are healthy. I am so happy that I found your website it is a game changer for me. I am going to do the freezer meals that your husband raved about as much as he did his truck. I am going to make them in the slow cook but am thinking of getting an instant pot for Christmas. It is so nice that you can make these recipes with either method. Since I just found your website I hope you are still actively giving tips and recipes every week. I know even more people will benefit from your website during these times. I have already shared your website with my sister, her husband Josef was born in the Ukraine and I will be sharing it with other friends and family . Thank you for reading my very long winded comment and God bless you, your husband and boys. PS Believe it or not I rarely subscribe or comment as I have here.

        1. Hi Kate! Thank you for taking the time to send me a message. I really appreciate it! I hope you will continue to enjoy my recipes 🙂

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