This Easy Summer Tomato Salad or Tuscan Salad is so easy to make and extremely delicious.
It is made with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, french bread, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.
One of my favorite things about this Easy Tomato Salad is the wonderful fresh vegetables that are used. As a child, I can remember picking fresh vegetables often. My favorite vegetables I picked were fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.
I came from a family who spent summers shelling peas and shucking corn. At the time I thought it was a lot of work, but now I realize it was a great treat to have fresh vegetables. We also had a great time with the family preparing our fresh veggies. In the summer I try to buy fresh vegetables, like corn still in the husk, so that my children will learn the entire process of preparing fresh vegetables.
How did I come up with this salad?
We made this salad using oil and vinegar growing up. My Aunt Dot was famous for her oil and vinegar salad. I simply substituted Balsamic Vinegar for Apple Cider Vinegar. I also added some bread. The bread soaks up the oil, vinegar, and seasonings. It is extremely delicious. I prepared this tomato salad an hour before serving to let it absorb all the flavors. Because it has bread in this recipe, serve it the same day you make it. It will get soggy if not quickly.
How To Pick The Perfect Tomatoes
Don’t worry so much about finding the perfect shape tomato. Pick the tomato up and examine the skin to make sure it is not bruised. Be sure to select the tomatoes that are not too firm nor way too soft, and make sure they have a fragrant tomato smell. Yes, smell your tomato. A fresh tomato should smell fragrant. A firm tomato is not ripe yet and a tomato that is too soft maybe bad.
Where To Store Your Tomatoes
Tomatoes don’t need to be in the refrigerator. Keep them out of direct sunlight, and stem side up. This is especially true if they are a little firm. Allow the firmer tomatoes to ripe fully or use them in salsa or make a tomato sauce for a pizza or spaghetti. If they get too mushy or moldy, toss them out.
Did you know Balsamic Vinegar is created from grapes? Although Balsamic vinegar is a dark brown color, it is made from pressed Italian white grapes, called must. The must is boiled down to a thick syrup then put into wooden kegs to age. Each year the after some moisture evaporates, the containers. This process helps to concentrate the flavor even further. Balsamic Vinegar is aged for a minimum of 12 years, but some are aged up to 100 years! The final vinegar is a thick, syrup with a concentrated flavor. It is wonderful drizzled over fresh fruit including these beautiful tomatoes.
Although Balsamic Vinegar can be expensive, you do not have to get a costly bottle for this recipe. I use Walmart Great Value Balsamic Vinegar for about $6 a bottle. Do not judge me; it is a great way to get a fabulous flavor without the huge investment.
Fabulous Easy Recipes Using Balsamic Vinegar
CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD – Tuscan Salad
- 3 tomato cut up in small bites
- 1 cucumber also cut up into small bites
- 1/2 of small purple or a Vidalia onion cut into small bites
- 8 fresh basil leaves chopped or 1 tablespoon Tomato Basil Ms. Dash
- half of a leftover wheat baguette or french loaf diced into 1 inch pieces. I used 3/4 of a 1 pound Multigrain French Bread loaf The bread will absorb the oil and vinegar and adds a wonderful surprise to the salad.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper to taste.
- The ratio for the oil and vinegar is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. You can adjust the vinegar and oil for your taste. I like using
- 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1/3 cup olive oil.
- Toss the salad to coat everything really well with the vinegar and oil.
- Marinate this salad about 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.