I grew all sorts of heirloom tomatoes this summer.

Some were sliced, sprinkled with salt, then gobbled: leaving nothing but a juicy, seedy trail behind.

Some found their way onto sandwiches…some were roasted…some were cooked into sauces…some were canned as tomato jam.

But I’d say most of my tomatoes were eaten in salads, and this Southeast Asian one from Melissa Clark was one of my favorites.

I love it because it’s a departure from the more typical ways I use raw tomatoes. I adore a good caprese and all, but after a while I crave something new.

I added chopped cucumber and minced hot red pepper, which were also from my garden, and I played with Melissa’s tasty dressing just a tad. Then I finished it up with a sprinkling of chopped cashews, which gave it a little more sweetness and crunch. I like Melissa’s suggestion to double the dressing and add rice noodles…I will try that next…I also think cooked tofu, fish or chicken would be great in here, and would turn this into a complete meal.

Recipe for Southeast Asian Tomato and Cucumber Salad


For the dressing:
*2-3 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
*juice of 1 fat, thin-skinned lime
*1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
*1 large garlic clove, minced
*4 tablespoons minced fresh basil (or use a combination of basil and cilantro)
*1/2 hot red chile pepper, seeded and minced
*splash of toasted sesame oil- optional

For the salad:
*about 1 cup tiny tomatoes (I used a combination of cherry, sungold and yellow pear tomatoes, and sliced the bigger ones in half)
*about 1 cup chopped tomatoes, preferably heirloom (any color you like)
*1 fat kirby cucumber, chopped

For the garnish:
*handful or two of raw cashews- optional


1. Whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, garlic, chile pepper, and optional sesame oil.

2. In a larger bowl, mix the tomatoes and cucumbers together. Add the dressing and mix again. Taste and adjust the amount of fish sauce and/or maple syrup, if necessary.

3. Spoon the salad onto plate(s) and garnish with raw cashews, if you like.

Adapted from Melissa Clark



  1. 1

    Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar Trips — September 1, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    Mmmmmm it looks lovely and refreshing Winnie! And I love the suggestion about the rice noodles. (of course I love any reason to have rice noodles) This definitely makes me want to go harvest some tomatoes from the garden and try this!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:45 am

      Yay! Do it!

  2. 2

    Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes — September 1, 2011 @ 8:16 am

    Oh this looks incredible. Your pictures of it are beautiful.
    What a great salad idea!!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:45 am

      Thanks Annie!

  3. 3

    Burnt Offerings — September 1, 2011 @ 8:53 am

    Lovely! I love this as a salad dressing alone! Reminds me of Heidi Swanson’s cucumber and peanut salad, but I think this has some interesting flavors and textures. Will try for lunch – thanks Winnie!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:46 am

      I don’t know that salad of Heidi’s but I’ll have to go look for it now!

  4. 4

    Bree — September 1, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    Love the idea of combining fish sauce and maple syrup . This looks so beautiful and fresh. Thanks for sharing!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:47 am

      I love the combo, too. Thanks so much for stopping by, Bree!

  5. 5

    Jeanette — September 1, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    I like this tomato cucumber salad, different for a change. I love Southeast Asian flavors so I’m sure I’d enjoy this!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:47 am

      Thanks Jeanette :)

  6. 6

    Lisa (This Little Piggy) — September 1, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    This looks so tangy and refreshing. I just wish I got more than 1 heirloom this summer. My crop was pathetic, even the cherry tomatoes were scant compared to last year.

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:48 am

      Oh so sorry you didn’t get a good crop. Mine did well, but not as well as in past years, either.

  7. 7

    Monet — September 1, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    Such lovely tomatoes…and such a lovely salad. I wish I could have sampled some of your delicious red jewels! I hope you are having a relaxing end to your week. I’m about to start my long weekend, and I’m feeling quite content with some cookies, your blog and a glass of milk. Love and hugs!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:48 am

      I hope you did have a great weekend Monet, and that life is being kind to you these days :)

  8. 8

    Best Salads — September 2, 2011 @ 4:11 am

    I love that you combined tomatoes with an Asian dressing!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:53 am

      Thank you!

  9. 9

    EA-The Spicy RD — September 2, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    Looks fabulous! I agree, it’s good to try something new! I do caprese a lot too, or plain tomatoes. I definitely want to try this – never would have thought about the inspired dressing on the tomatoes!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:53 am

      I think it’s really good, and such a welcome change.

  10. 10

    France @ Beyond The Peel — September 2, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    What a fun idea to use an Asian inspired dressing on a cucumber tomato salad. Those are some beautiful tomatoes!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:53 am

      Thanks so much!

  11. 11

    Nutmeg Nanny — September 2, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

    This is such a beautiful salad. It inspires me to want a garden…really bad! I can’t wait until I get my own home with a big yard and I can make that happen!!!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:55 am

      Thanks Brandy! How did your CSA fare with the flooding? The ones in New Paltz are all done for the year now :(

  12. 12

    Katherine Martinelli — September 3, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    That dressing looks so good! At first glance the salad looks like a classic Israeli salad of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, but it’s actually so much better!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:55 am

      Not better…just different. I bet the salads in Israel are incredible!

  13. 13

    Debbie @ Easy Natural Food — September 3, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    This sounds really good. I especially like the sound of that dressing. Must try making it this week. Thanks!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:55 am

      I hope you do give it a try!

  14. 14

    Sandi — September 4, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    Pretty pics of the tomatoes, one of my favorite vegetables!

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:56 am

      Thanks and me, too!

  15. 15

    Cathy — September 4, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

    Such appetizing photos, Winnie. I really hope to see your garden someday. In the meantime, I’ll make this salad and wish we were sharing it.

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:56 am

      Oh thank you Cathy. I’d love to share a salad with you soon ;)

  16. 16

    Heather Jacobsen — September 4, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

    I love the Asian twist on the heirloom tomatoes! Its a nice change from the standard uses of tomatoes (which I also can never really tire of). My kids love those little pear-shaped tomatoes. Luke thinks they look like snowmen and bites off their “heads” first. :)

    • Winnie replied: — September 6th, 2011 @ 10:57 am

      Thanks Heather, and that’s so cute about likening them to snowmen!

  17. 17

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