by Olena

Lettuce Salad with Tomato and Cucumber

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 17 votes

Easy Lettuce Salad Recipe with tomato, cucumber, dill, onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and one secret ingredient that makes this green salad THE BEST healthy summer salad.

Other fresh favorites around here are this cucumber and tomato salad, chicken lettuce wraps and creamy cucumber salad.

Lettuce Salad with Tomato and Cucumber

In Ukraine, there are as many variations of lettuce salad as there are cooks. I grew up eating this green salad in summer and it was always different depending on what was in my grandma’s garden and fridge. This lettuce salad recipe is my version of traditional Eastern European garden salad, and believe it or not, it contains no garlic, rather one secret ingredient that makes this salad SO MUCH better than any other garden salads.

I based my chickpea salad on this lettuce and tomato salad, and this shrimp avocado salad. Possibilities are endless and depend on your personal taste, fridge contents and mood. Yes, sometimes I feel like a splash of vinegar and other days a dollop of Greek yogurt. No matter what you do, it is very hard to mess up this green salad recipe unless you add way too much salt.

Love spinach too or more than lettuce? Then you will enjoy my spinach salad recipe and spinach and strawberry salad.

close up of Lettuce Salad with Tomato and Cucumber

Ingredients for Lettuce and Tomato Salad

This lettuce salad ingredients are simple to a Greek salad recipe minus feta, olives and pepper.

  • Cucumbers: Any type of cucumbers (pickle, dill, garden, long English, Persian), peeled or not, work.
  • Tomatoes: Any type of full-grown, grape or cherry tomatoes work. I love local beefsteak and Roma for a good garden salad. I love heirloom too but sometimes price isn’t justifiable, and tomatoes on the vine taste as good (especially in winter when all there is in stores plastic-y tomatoes from Mexico).
  • Lettuce: Boston, red leaf, romaine, butter, green leaf lettuces are great. Salad spinner is a must if you want to enjoy local veggies.
  • Herbs: I specifically love dill in a simple lettuce salad. Italian parsley would work too but not the same as dill, try both ways and you will know what I mean.
  • Onion: It’s optional. As a kid, I hated it (that’s why I cut it in large slices, so kids can remove), now I like to add a bit for a zing.
  • Spices: Olive oil, salt, pepper and a secret ingredient is toasted sesame oil. It gotta be toasted, you can find it in any grocery store or online. It is a staple in Asian cooking, and without it, sesame cauliflower and homemade Asian salad dressing wouldn’t be the same – the toasted kind makes all the difference.

How to Make Lettuce Salad

This lettuce salad is so good, simple and darn cheap, it is on our summer’s menu every week. For more crowd pleasing salads, check out my summer salad recipes roundup.

  • Prep: First, wash all vegetables, chop and add to a large salad bowl as you are chopping. Work through ingredients in order listed in the recipe.
  • Add seasonings: No extra step to make salad dressing separately is required. Add oils, white vinegar (if using), salt and pepper right on top of veggies in a bowl.
  • Combine: Toss gently and only just until combined. Lettuce salad tastes best fresh without fragile lettuce leaves bruised and juicy veggies leaking.
  • Serve: It is best to serve this lettuce salad within first 30-60 minutes after tossing. Lettuce leaves wilt really fast. Serve with beef roast, lamb roast or turkey roast at your next Holiday table. Or just with honey garlic chicken or pressure cooker pork chops on a busy weeknight.

Tips and Variations

  • Peel tough cucumber skin: I definitely would peel garden cucumbers that can have bitter and tough skin. I wouldn’t buy field cucumbers because they are lifeless and flavourless. I definitely would wash long English cucumber after removing the plastic wrapping (I knew someone who didn’t).
  • How to prep any fresh herbs: To remove flavorful and thin dill leaves from thick stalks, the trick is to hold onto them, then “shave” off the top part with a knife, and then chop finely.
  • Use garden’s bounty or winter store’s availability: This is a beauty of this lettuce salad, its year round affordability and availability, especially thanks to Costco, of course (see my healthy Costco shopping list). Summer version will taste much better, of course.
  • Creamy lettuce salad: Instead of oil, use Greek yogurt with fat content 2% and up. Or sour cream for a true Ukrainian version.

FAQs

What toasted sesame oil does for this lettuce tomato cucumber salad?

It adds a flavour similar to unrefined sunflower oil we used in Ukraine for cooking and eating, one and only oil used in every single dish. Try it and you will never ever have an olive oil only garden salad again.

What is the best lettuce for salad?

Boston lettuce, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, iceberg lettuce and any green leaf lettuces are great for this lettuce and tomato salad. Green salad is made with any thin leaf lettuce varieties and is meant to be enjoyed right away because of the leaves structure.

How to keep lettuce salad fresh?

You can make ahead this salad. Add all ingredients to a bowl except oil, white vinegar (if using), salt and pepper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8-10 hours. Season and toss right before serving.

Is spinach better than lettuce?

In terms of lettuce health benefits, spinach, kale and Swiss chard rank higher than lettuce varieties. Especially, iceberg lettuce has least amount of nutrients of all. It is basically just 99% water. However, green lettuce (especially local seasonal) is high in vitamins A, K and C, folate and manganese.

What Ukrainian would I be, if on a hot summer day, I wouldn’t serve lettuce salad with smoked salmon toasts?! I hope you enjoy one of our favorite lettuce recipes!

smoked salmon toasts and Lettuce Salad served on blue plate

More Green Salad Recipes

Lettuce Salad with Tomato and Cucumber

Lettuce Salad with Tomato and Cucumber

Easy Lettuce Salad Recipe with tomato, cucumber, dill, onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and one secret ingredient that makes this green salad THE BEST healthy summer salad.
4.95 from 17 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 large or 10 small servings
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (2 medium) English cucumbers coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb (4 medium) tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb (large bunch) any lettuce coarsely chopped
  • 1 small bunch dill finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white or red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil optional (see notes)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Garlic and white vinegar to taste (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add cucumber, tomato, lettuce, dill, onion, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, salt and pepper. The easiest is to prep and add ingredients in order as listed and as you are preparing them (washing and chopping the vegetables).
  • Toss gently just until combined.
  • Serve immediately or within an hour.

To make ahead: Refrigerate all vegetables covered in a bowl, and add oils, salt and pepper right before serving (as soon as you add salt – salad "leaks").

    Notes

    • Lettuce: Boston, red leaf, romaine, butter, green leaf lettuces are great.
    • Cucumbers: Any type of cucumbers (pickle, dill, garden, long English, Persian), peeled or not, work.
    • Peel tough cucumber skin: I definitely would peel garden cucumbers that can have bitter and tough skin. I wouldn’t buy field cucumbers because they are lifeless and flavourless. I definitely would wash long English cucumber after removing the plastic wrapping.
    • Tomatoes: Any type of full-grown, grape or cherry tomatoes work. I love local beefsteak and Roma for a good garden salad. I love heirloom too but sometimes price isn’t justifiable, and tomatoes on the vine taste as good (especially in winter when all there is in stores plastic-y tomatoes from Mexico).
    • Toasted sesame oil: It gotta be toasted to make a difference in taste or feel free to skip. You can find it in any grocery store or online. It is a staple in Asian cooking.
    • How to prep any fresh herbs: To remove flavorful and thin dill leaves from thick stalks, the trick is to hold onto them, then “shave” off the top part with a knife, and then chop finely.
    • Creamy lettuce salad: Instead of oil, use Greek yogurt with fat content 2% and up. Or sour cream for a true Ukrainian version.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cup | Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1219IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    47 comments on “Lettuce Salad with Tomato and Cucumber

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    1. 5 stars
      Thank you so much! I have been craving a great tasting salad for days now and with your recipe I finally went to the supermarket to get the ingredients.

        1. Hi, thank you so much for all this information. How many days can we store it in our fridge before it gets spoiled ?

    2. I bought ROASTED sesame oil, is that the same as Toasted?
      Also do you add something else with the toasted sesame oil before drizzling over the salad?

      1. I think judging by the name should be same. Never seen one before. Did you see there is the recipe card with full recipe more towards the bottom of the page?:) Enjoy!

    3. 5 stars
      I never bought iceberg lettuce. But my husband went to the store for a cabbage for me and, not knowing the difference, got a head of lettuce. I looked for a recipe online and found your recipe. So I sliced a couple of cukes, four little tomatoes, some of the lettuce, and then, since you siggest adding whatever we have around, I added a bit of what else I had in the fridge, — fresh yellow corn and even the corn silk, arugula, a golden beet (I grated it) and its greens, fresh dill and red onion. I topped it with chic peas and sqeezed the juice of a half a lemon over it. It is such a refreshing salad! Now I know why iceberg lettuce is so popular in restaurant salads.

    4. 4 stars
      I added some honey and used zatar instead of dill (my father-in-law hates dill as it is). I also used balsamic vinegar alongside apple cider vinegar. Added spring onions to the mix as opposed to white mild onions and so far, no one has died which means that the recipe was a success!

    5. Just graving for a green salad ,I really need it and will try to see if I can managed it. Thanks for this site.

    6. 5 stars
      This is my second time making this and I forgot how spicy the sesame seed oil is. I still love the recipe and hopefully next time will remember to take it down to 1 T, maybe even 1/2 T. It makes my eyes water and nose run while I’m trying to enjoy it.

      It might just be the type of sesame seed oil I am using? I didn’t use “toasted” because I had something else on hand. Anyway, I’m still going to give it another go because I really just like it overall. Seems basic salad recipe, but there’s something special about it. I just mentioned the heat for others who might want to cut back.

      Anyway, is it because I didn’t use toasted? Thanks.

      1. Oh my, sesame oil is not spicy, toasted or not. Maybe you used pepperoncino or whatever it is oil? What does the bottle say and what brand?

    7. Really looking forward to making this salad also, along with the new potato salad that you and your son worked through together. I love that you’ve inspired him in the kitchen!

      Dill is an herb that I have rarely used! A few of your recipes is all the exposure that I had and we have both like its flavor. I used the leftovers in Greek yogurt to top a roasted potato or two after taking them off the grill last summer and that was fantastic! Also one time I had leftover dill from your recipe and put it in some chicken and homemade noodles. So good! I am a little baffled as to why my grandma only used it for pickling!

      1. Dill is a VERY popular herb in Eastern European cuisine. Majority of North Americans have not tasted it and I’m not sure why it’s not popular because it is mind blowing flavourful. And funny thing is that it is sold everywhere, even at Walmart haha. Must be a historical thing.
        I put dill in chicken noodle soup and it’s the best for it! Garlic and dill forever haha. I do the same thing with potatoes, now you made me crave them.
        Yes, my boys love to cook thanks to me and I’m so proud of it. They love doing it and can feed themselves for days. So, hard work pays off!

        1. I started a nice little raised garden this summer and am going to put some dill in! Maybe it’s not to late. I just picked 4 really pretty eggplants, and have had some really yummy collard greens. It’s so much fun to eat what I’ve grown!

          1. Good for you! Yes, you can still plant dill, not too late.
            Gardening is amazing. We are seriously contemplating moving onto acreage one day. Alex wants to grow his food.

    8. Hi Olena, I was inspired to make this recipe after returning from our trip to SF. It was a refreshing summer salad and Jon loved all of the tomatoes! I didn’t have any fresh dill, so I used basil instead. Mmm…

      1. Hi Erika. Yay! Basil works! I think we will be eating vegetables ONLY for a few weeks after this trip LOL. My basil has grown like crazy while we were away. Hope you have an easy transition back to reality. Chat soon. xxx

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