I spoke a little about this salad on my Instagram stories recently, which is really why I’m posting the recipe today. I view this as a ‘non-recipe’ type of dish because it’s really as customisable as you need it to be. It is also my current go-to dish that I crave when my digestive condition (still not completely diagnosed) flares up. Introducing: my FODMAP-friendly cucumber tomato salad.
First things first: this salad is an extension of a Greek Salad. I’m not reinventing the wheel here – I have just adapted a classic a little for a few reasons. Firstly, when I’m really unwell, I generally eat the same ‘base meal’ for a number of days in a row. I go through phases: cooked radicchio and parmesan, cabbage with the life boiled out of it or frozen vegetables with almond butter. Gourmet stuff, right? What I noticed, however, was that my base meals weren’t often super nutritious. There’s definitely a time and a place for boiled cabbage, but I figured some extra greenery and variety would be ideal.
When I began craving Greek Salad, I ate it a lot. But I found that, when eating it multiple times a day (again, only when I’m sick) it didn’t fill me up for long. So I threw some walnuts in. And then a bit of avocado. And then whatever else I could find. The result of said bench scavenging was this FODMAP-friendly cucumber tomato salad.
I should say that I think what makes this salad so good is the fine dusting of Parmesan that clings to the vegetables. I’m pretty sure it’s the secret ticket to salad deliciousness. I mention it briefly below, but this is how I make my super fine Parmesan dust for the salad:
- Buy a wedge of good quality Parmesan from the shops. Make sure it’s vegetarian if it needs to be.
- Cut the wedge into reasonably small chunks.
- Throw it in the Nutribullet and blend for a cycle until it is a fine dust. I should say that my Nutribullet doesn’t love being used for this purpose, but it does OK. If you have a better food processor, even better!
- Sprinkle over the salad with reckless abandon. It adds flavour, texture, all of the good things.
In the mood for salad? These are my top five:
- Honey roasted carrot and haloumi salad
- Super green haloumi salad (sensing a pattern here?)
- Salt and pepper tofu and mango Vietnamese inspired salad
- Vegetarian Caesar salad
- Dukkah roasted carrot salad with FODMAP friendly zucchini hummus and preserved lemon herb dressing
FODMAP-FRIENDLY CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD SUBSTITUTIONS
The beauty of this salad is that it’s endlessly customisable depending on what you have on hand. You can take this base recipe and put your own spin on it however you see fit.
- I have a real obsession with walnuts at the moment, courtesy of an old packet I was trying to use up. You could also use pine nuts or sunflower/pumpkin seeds for a nut free option.
- I used parsley and dill as my herbs because they’re what I had on hand. I also used a big handful of finely chopped rocket for extra green. You could also use basil, mint or spinach.
- Greek Feta can be replaced with Danish feta or a vegan version of your choosing.
- I am currently obsessed with blending up small pieces of Parmesan into super fine parm. It looks like the kind you’d get at a restaurant and I got the idea from a Bon Appetit video.
- Balsamic, red wine or sherry vinegar are all suitable in the dressing. You could even use lemon juice if that’s all you have on hand.
- A teaspoon or two of maple syrup really adds another layer of complexity to the dressing. You could use a sweetener of your choosing or omit if you really want to.
- Monash has recently updated the FODMAP friendly quantity of common tomatoes to 1/2 a tomato per serve if you have issues with fructose. Please keep this in mind if you have previously reacted to tomatoes. If not, business as usual!
NICE ADDITION IDEAS
- A bit of avocado (1/4 per person for FODMAP friends) is a nice way to add extra creaminess.
- If you’re into heat, you could add some chilli flakes or a bit of chilli oil.
- On the note of oil, some infused oil would add a layer of complexity to the dish.
- If you’re using lemon juice in the dressing (or even if you’re not) some lemon zest would be very pleasant.
- Extra lettuce, spinach or rocket would pad out the salad even further. Just remember to add a little extra dressing.
- Some gluten free sourdough to mop up all the juices! Find my recipe here.
FODMAP FRIENDLY TOMATO AND CUCUMBER SALAD
- 2-3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar balsamic or sherry vinegar (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Freshly cracked pepper and sea salt flakes
- 1-2 bunches of herbs see notes finely chopped (I used Parsley and dill)
- A handful of greens I used rocket/arugula finely chopped (optional)
- 2-3 medium – large ripe tomatoes chopped (see notes)
- 5-6 medium – large Lebanese cucumbers chopped
- 100-200g Greek Feta as much as you fancy (I used 100g)
- Pitted Kalamata olives to your taste (I used about 1/3 cup)
- Walnuts to your taste (I used about 1/2 cup)
- Finely grated fresh Parmesan I use blender parm, see intro for instructions
- 1/2 avocado, sliced (optional)
- Sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and/or hemp seeds (optional)
- Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and seasoning in a large bowl before adding the herbs and greens. Stir to coat. I like to do it this way because it coats and softens the greens slightly, which is great if you’re using something woodier like Parsley.
- Add the tomatoes and cucumbers to the bowl and mix gently to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning (and add a little extra parmesan if necessary) and serve.