Touring Tennessee – Marinated Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad Recipe

We drove down south to Tennessee for Jeff’s birthday.  It was just a short getaway, but well worth it!   You see, instead of gifts that are put in the closet and sometimes forgotten or perhaps returned, we like to make memories on special occasions.

It’s the little things that we remember the most.  The morning walks along the stream and in the woods, afternoon at the boathouse, the evening enjoying dinner.  Oh yes, the meal memories…don’t you think that they are really some of the best and most important?  The time when we focus on good food and better conversation.  The meal times that re-establish the connection that we have with each other.

We spent a couple of days on a farm.  I loved gently waking up to the cocks crowing instead of a jarring alarm clock.  Our cabin was tucked away in verdant, shady woods, which was soothing because it was extremely hot.  I thought that is was supposed to be cooler in the mountains…I found out that “cooler” can be relative when the whole country hovers at above average temperatures.  But it smelled so green, overwhelmingly green!

This trip has me thinking about having a bigger garden soon.  I was inspired by the garden at the farm, filled with heirloom tomatoes, vegetables, and fruit.  The grazing sheep inspired me too….but I don’t think that a flock will be in my future any time soon.  But it’s a wonderful experience to see firsthand the farm to table movement.

My Aunt Mary always had a huge garden.  She was way ahead of her time…her garden was totally organic and her compost pile was immense.  I would visit her in August and watch her can and bake daily.  She would send me home with armloads of fresh and canned veggies. You will be enjoying some of her recipes in future posts.  I’m glad to share them with you because her reputation as a cook was known far and wide.

I know that many of you don’t have the chance to experience a farm, so I hope that you enjoy the images that we took on our journey and I hope that you enjoy Aunt Mary’s recipe for marinated cucumber, onion and tomato salad…so fresh and delicious this time of year.  If you have a garden, you might just have what Aunt Mary called the “fixins” for this salad right now.


Marinated Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Quick, refreshing summer salad.


1 English cucumber, sliced thin
1 Sweet onion, sliced thin, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
4 Medium tomatoes, sliced


1/4 cup simple syrup
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Lots of freshly ground pepper

Simple syrup

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar


When I make this, I like to marinate the cucumber and onion, but I don't marinate the tomato, because I like the contrast, but feel free to marinate the tomato also, if you would like.

Thinly slice the cucumber and onion and put into medium bowl.

Whisk the simple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper together in a separate bowl.

Pour the marinade mixture over the cucumber and onion and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Assemble salad in layers as shown. You may do 2 layers instead of 3, if you prefer.



2 Responses to “Touring Tennessee – Marinated Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad Recipe”

  1. 1

    Lucidfood — Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 2:17 am

    Your food and photos are incredible. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about food photography just from looking at your site. Thanks for sharing your stories and vision!

  2. 2

    kathy richardson — Friday, September 30, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

    My beloved grandmother used to make this in the summer months after sending me out to pick fresh tomatoes from her garden. We were hardy German stock and our food was usually heavy. Even though I loved everything she cooked, somehow this simple salad was always a summer palette cleanser. Just seeing tomatoes, onions and cucumber together brings memories to mind of grandma in the garden. Thank you for the reminder.

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