Monday, September 12, 2011

Georgian recipes: cucumber and tomato salad with cilantro/coriander

Tomato and cucumber salad, Georgian style / Gruusia stiilis tomati-kurgisalat

How do you like your tomato salad?

The most popular version here in Estonia is sliced and quartered cucumbers and tomatoes, simply mixed with some sour cream, dill or green onions/scallions and seasoned. However, this summer we've been experimenting with alternatives and this Georgian-style fresh salad has proved to be very delicious and well received. The key ingredient (in addition to flavoursome tomatoes and cucumbers, of course) is fresh cilantro/coriander. Not something I would have thrown into a simple tomato and cucumber salad a year ago, but love now!

Cucumber and tomato salad, Georgian style

tomatoes, quartered
cucumbers, peeled and thickly sliced or cut into batons
(red) onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
fresh coriander/cilantro (leaves only)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
some apple cider vinegar

Put the prepared tomatoes, cucumbers and onions into a bowl. Add the coriander/cilantro leaves, season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of vinegar. Combine gently and serve.


ChichaJo said...

This is so refreshing! And you know what, it is also a very typical siding here in the Philipines! Our is tomato and onions with cilatro, all chopped and tossed together :) Love the similarities despite the distance :)

Sanuliini said...

Sounds like a thai-version called spicy chicken salad. Only chicken and chili are missing. Delicious!

Vi said...

tomatoes and cucumbers have always been a part of my family dinners growing up (a part of Vietnamese cuisine) and I personally love tomatoes every which way possible. I will definitely try this recipe :) FYI, been to Estonia this summer and I had tomatoes/cucumber/sour cream particularly everyday especially with boiled potatoes and you know what, it was simply delish :)

Anonymous said...

Is cilantro more readily available in Tallinn? When I lived in Tartu, I'm not sure I ever found it. I wish I had though, as this salad looks great!

pagulane said...

In Tartu one Georgian restaurant serves this salad.

Lizna Liisu A. said...

Mm! So fresh, I love these salads in summer esp. :)

This is the way I do tomato salad;
4 medium firm tomatoes
4 green onions (or 1 small shallot)
¼ cup fresh mint (chopped)
½ tsp sumac
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon

Dice the tomatoes and slice the green onions/shallots. Place in a bowl and add mint, sumac, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Toss and serve.
That's a turkish recipe. :)

thepassionatecook said...

that looks so summery and refreshing! if there is ine thing that's hard to come by here in singapore, it is tasty tomatoes. i do buy some from time to tome at an italian deli, they cost an arm and a leg and i only used them for special treats... like this one ;-)

kathleen said...


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Pille said...

Joey - how wonderful! Some flavour combinations are truly universal :)

Sanuliini - so the chicken salad would have cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, chicken and chilli??

Vi - thank you for commenting! Let me know when you're in Estonia again - we could meet for a coffee!

Breadisbest - cilantro/koriander is pretty easy to find in Tallinn now, and I suspect in Tartu as well. The best bet, however, is to look for it at the markets, where it's sold as 'kinza' (that's the Russian/Caucasus term for it).

Pagulane - no surprises there :)

Lizna - jätan meelde, tänud retsepti eest!!

Johanna - the local Italian and French delis must love you - all the bread, butter, tasty tomatoes - that you buy from them :)