Marinated Tomato and Cucumber Salad

For some reason, canning always makes me feel so domestic. I’m a huge fan of Little House on the Prairie, and any time I make jam, pickles, tomato sauce, freeze berries or do any sort of food preservation, I feel like I’m channeling my inner Caroline Ingalls, taking care of my family by preparing us all with lots of stocked up food in our pantry. There is something so satisfying about seeing colorful jars of canned food.

I also watched my Mom can our summer produce all summer long, from the many varieties of Marinated Tomatoes and Pickles, Marinated peppers, Adzhika, Tomato Juice, different assortments of Slavic salads and all kinds of jams. We enjoyed the contents of those jars all year long. This was my all time favorite recipe that my Mom made every summer.

The Marinated Tomato and Cucumber Salad is so simple, yet the taste is like none that I have tried anywhere else. First of all, it looks beautiful. The layers of onions, cucumbers and tomatoes are so colorful. The flavor isn’t too “pickley” or “vinegary”. Actually, there is such a small amount of vinegar, that you can’t really taste it at all in the finished product. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty. My husband, who is NOT the  biggest fan of pickled food, loves this salad, for this very reason. Since the tomatoes and cucumbers are cut up into pieces, it’s especially convenient, because you don’t have to fit them into the jar a certain way. You don’t have to choose the perfect small vegetables, because you can cut up the tomatoes and cucumbers that normally wouldn’t fit. Also, since the tomatoes and cucumbers are canned together, they give a very unique flavor to each other. These pickles have an extra delicious flavor because of the tomato juice that is in the marinade.

It’s a perfect quick side dish to any meal. Open up a jar, and you’re all set. I hope you enjoy this recipe that has been loved in our family for many years. 

Ingredients: (You can most certainly halve the recipe if you want to make a small portion)

5 lbs tomatoes

5 lbs pickling cucumbers

2 lbs onions

2 heads of garlic

1 large bunch fresh dill

20 cups water

8 Tablespoons granulated sugar

9 Tablespoons fine sea salt

3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

10 Tablespoons sunflower oil, 1 Tablespoon per jar

Instructions:

Wash the cucumbers and tomatoes.

If your cucumbers are a little soft, you can crisp them up by letting them soak in really cold water for 15-30 minutes. This is actually a really cool trick for any time your cucumbers need a little extra pep. They got nice and crunchy just by standing in the cold for a bit. Slice the cucumbers into approximately 1/2 inch circles. Slice the onions, about 1/4 inch slices and quarter the tomatoes. Peel the garlic.

Wash and dry your canning jars. Place a few sprigs of fresh dill on the bottom of each jar, and then add 2-4 garlic cloves. Layer the onions, cucumbers and tomatoes in 2 layers in each jar. I got 10 (1 quart) jars, using 8 wide mouth quart jars and 2 half gallon wide mouth jars.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the water, salt and sugar to a boil, mixing until all the sugar and salt dissolve. Off the heat, pour in the vinegar.

Ladle the hot marinade mixture over the vegetables in the jar, all the way to the top. Add about a tablespoon of sunflower oil to the top of each jar. I add a little bit less than a Tablespoon to the quart jars and a little more than a Tablespoon to the half gallon jars.

Place the jar lids in boiling water and let the lids stay in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes also, off the heat.In a large pot, place a towel or dishcloth on the bottom and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil. Place the filled jars in the boiling water, on top of the towel, cover them loosely with the lids and cook, at a simmer, for 10-15 minutes.


Take the jars out of the water and close the lids tightly. Repeat with all the jars.

The tomato and cucumber salad is ready to eat in 1-2 days, since the vegetables are cut, the marinade penetrates them really quickly. Store opened jars in the refrigerator, the rest are shelf stable at room temperature.It’s absolutely delicious! It looks beautiful right out of the jar. 

Marinated Tomato and Cucumber Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 10 quarts
Ingredients
  • 5 lbs tomatoes
  • 5 lbs pickling cucumbers
  • 2 lbs onions
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 large bunch fresh dill
  • 20 cups water
  • 8 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 9 Tablespoons fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 10 Tablespoons sunflower oil, 1 Tablespoon per jar
Instructions
  1. Wash the cucumbers and tomatoes. If your cucumbers are a little soft, you can crisp them up by letting them soak in really cold water for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Slice the cucumbers into approximately ½ inch circles. Slice the onions, about ¼ inch slices and quarter the tomatoes. Peel the garlic.
  3. Wash and dry your canning jars.
  4. Place a few sprigs of fresh dill on the bottom of each jar, and then add 2-4 garlic cloves.
  5. Layer the onions, cucumbers and tomatoes in 2 layers in each jar. I got 10 (1 quart) jars, using 8 wide mouth quart jars and 2 half gallon wide mouth jars.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the water, salt and sugar to a boil, mixing until all the sugar and salt dissolve. Off the heat, pour in the vinegar.
  7. Ladle the hot marinade mixture over the vegetables in the jar, all the way to the top.
  8. Add about a tablespoon of sunflower oil to the top of each jar. I add a little bit less than a Tablespoon to the quart jars and a little more than a Tablespoon to the half gallon jars.
  9. Place the jar lids in boiling water and let the lids stay in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes also, off the heat.
  10. In a large pot, place a towel or dishcloth on the bottom and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil. Place the filled jars in the boiling water, on top of the towel, cover them loosely with the lids and cook, at a simmer, for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Take the jars out of the water and close the lids tightly. Repeat with all the jars.
  12. The tomato and cucumber salad is ready to eat in 1-2 days, since the vegetables are cut, the marinade penetrates them really quickly. Store opened jars in the refrigerator, the rest are shelf stable at room temperature.

17 Comments

  • Oksana

    This looks super easy and delicious! Will have to give this a try.. just a question from a first time canner- do I have to sanitize the jars ? And how?

    • olgak7

      No, not for this recipe, just wash them first. Since you will be cooking them later in the jar, that will, in a sense, take care of the sanitizing part. I hope you enjoy this salad, Oksana.

  • Christine

    Did you use vine tomatoes or cocktail tomatoes? The tomatoes in the picture look small and I can’t tell.
    Also what type if onion? Cooking onion or Spanish onion? Thank you.
    p.s. I love your recipes and your stories.

    • olgak7

      The tomatoes I used are the ones called “on the vine”. They are medium sized. However, you can use any kind of tomato for this recipe. We have used different ones since they will be cut up anyway. I used regular yellow onions, but a white or Spanish onion will work too.

  • Lily

    Hi Olga, can I make this salad without canning it? What I mean is, if I pour marinade over veggies, and then once it cools place it in fridge, would I get same results?

    • olgak7

      I have never tried it that way. It may work, but you would need to keep the salad stored in the refrigerator. It also might taste different, since the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions etc. are “cooking” together for 10-15 minutes when they are in the jars.

  • Vera

    I really like your updated website. The search by ingredient makes it very user friendly. I will be making more of your recipes now.

  • Lilly

    I made this recipe on Saturday. I tasted the marinade and I found it to be to my liking. However, I needed about 1 extra pound of veggies to fill the same amount of cans. Also, if you are planning to overturn the cans and place towels over them for a few hours, do not boil the cans more than 10 minutes.

    Olga, this is such a beautiful and tasty recipe. I am new to canning, but I am absolutely in love with it. Thank you for posting it!!!

    • olgak7

      I hope you enjoy the salad, Lilly! Thanks so much for sharing your experience, I really appreciate it.
      The amount of veggies varies a bit for me every time; I find that the size of the cucumbers is what really makes the difference, since the thinner cucumbers take up less room in the jars, even if the weight is the same, if that makes sense.

      • Lilly

        Yes, I agree with you and I think it depends on how they “fit” inside the jar. I just thought that maybe people should have a few extra veggies on hand in case they find some extra room in those jars:)

  • Liza Soro

    This recipe looks really good and seems like it is easy to make. I am planning on trying it, but am wondering, would any other oil work instead of sunflower oil? I have avocado and olive oil on hand.

  • Tanya

    I made this recipe and it is absolutely delicious, and much approved by my husband:) It was so good I am already making another batch because this one will soon be gone! Thank you for all your recipes Olga, I have already made so much of them at home and they have all turned out perfect every time thanks to your detailed instructions:)

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