This easy and healthy Georgian tomato cucumber salad recipe takes minutes to cobble together! It comes with a nutty and zesty walnut dressing that's refreshing on your palate. This traditional Georgian appetizer will quickly become a regular to your meals.
Why You'll Love It
Besides how easy it is to make, this salad is vegan and gluten-free! The herbs are my favorite parts because they are what makes every Georgian tomato cucumber salad different. You can adapt this to your taste, and no one would bat an eye. Whatever herbs and additional ingredients you choose to use will most likely work. I recommend picking a medley of chopped basil, mint, cilantro, and green onions as they are all fair play additions to this classic Georgian salad.
I love this salad because it boasts Georgia's agragrian expertise. Its fresh combination of herbs and vegetables is a testament to how Georgians honor the food they grow on their land. Walnuts, the lifeblood of Georgian cuisine, presents itself within a surprisingly tangy and bright dressing mixed with white wine vinegar, which comes from another staple food - the grape.
- Slicer Cucumbers
- Pink Heirloom Tomatoes
- Red Onions
- Fresh Basil: Purple and Sweet
- Green Chili
- White Wine Vinegar
- Tomatoes: Pink heirloom tomatoes are what you typically use in these salads but you can also choose any heirloom tomatoes you fancy. Alternatively, you can select among any large, fleshy tomato.
- Cucumbers: If you don't have slicer cucumbers, English and pickling cucumbers will also work.
- Red Onion: You can use white or yellow onions, but red onions provide a signature bite to the salad.
- Basil: You don't have to use basil to make this salad complete, but it does add more fragrance and freshness. Other herbs to use include cilantro, parsley, and green onions.
- White Wine Vinegar: Use red wine vinegar for a more robust taste, but you can also use apple cider vinegar.
- Peel Cucumbers: This is not necessary, but if you peel the cucumber, you'll eliminate more of its bitter taste. Doing this will add to the brightness of the salad.
- Get a Sharper Bite: This recipe goes for a punchier flavor which has you grating half a clove of garlic over the salad. But consider the additional garlic after adding the walnut dressing because it also contains garlic.
How to Make Georgian Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Add the garlic, walnuts, salt, vinegar, and water to a food processor and pulse until the walnuts are crushed into small, grainy pieces.
- Peel and slice the cucumbers. Slice the tomatoes into wedges and julienne the onions then add the vegetables to a bowl.
- Chop basil, cilantro, and green chilies, then add on top of the cucumbers and tomatoes.
- Pour the walnut dressing over the vegetables and gently fold the salad to incorporate the dressing.
How to Serve
Make this tomato and cucumber salad right before you serve dinner and bring it to the table as soon as you make it! You can serve it as an appetizer before the larger part of a meal or as a side. This also makes a lighter accompaniment to heavier Georgian appetizers such as fried eggplant rolls with walnuts called badrijiani nigzvit.
Other Recipes to Try
If you want to try more Georgian food at home, check out the recipes for walnut paste, khinkali, and the popular Adjarian khachapuri. But if you want to keep the vegan train going, the cowboy caviar recipe is another easy and quick recipe to make!
Frequently Asked Questions
Tomato cucumber salads doesn't last very long in the refrigerator. You can expect to keep leftover salad in the fridge for no more than a day. During that time the cucumbers will get soft and the tomatoes will start to mush.
You can choose to make Georgian tomato cucumber salad without walnuts. Make the dressing with all the ingredients minus the walnuts and continue making the salad as instructed.
Easy Georgian Cucumber Tomato Salad Recipe (with Walnut Dressing)
- 2 pink heirloom tomatoes, sliced in wedges substitutes: any heirloom or large red tomato
- 2 slicer cucumbers, peeled and sliced to oval shapes substitutes: English or pickling
- 50 grams whole walnuts
- 1 medium red onion, julienned substitutes: white or yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar substitutes: red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt add more to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh purple basil, chopped optional; substitutes: cilantro or green onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh sweet basil, chopped optional; substitutes: cilantro or green onion
- 1 small green chili pepper, chopped optional
- 60 ml water
Make Walnut Dressing
- Add the walnuts, 3 garlic cloves, vinegar, water, and salt to a food processor.
- Pulse the ingredients until the liquid is milky and the walnuts are crushed into large grains. Set aside.
Make the Salad
- In a bowl, add the cucumbers, tomatoes, chopped basil, and julienned onions. Grate half of one garlic over the vegetables. Gently mix together.
- Pour the dressing into the salad and carefully fold the vegetables over each other to keep the salad from getting mushy.
- Keep folding until the vegetables are lightly coated with the crushed walnuts.
- Put the salad in a bowl and top with more chopped basil and other herbs such as parsley and cilantro. It's optional to add the chopped chili. Serve immediately.
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