Southeast Asian Tomato and Cucumber Salad

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.

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Recipe for Southeast Asian Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.