When made correctly, this salad creates a word I could not translate from Turkish. After lunch, when I was teaching in Turkey, there was a savory liquid left in the bowl from a salad of cucumbers and ripe tomatoes. We were sharing food and language— my co-workers were trying to teach me Turkish, and I was answering questions about English.
“What is this called?” one finally asked, pointing to the empt bowl.
“Salad dressing?” I suggested. No, they knew that word and it wasn’t it. Vegetable juice? Broth?
Finally, I suggested the word “güzel—” Turkish for delicious— and my co-workers laughed. But we really should have a word for it in English, as it’s the best part of this salad.
The ingredients are really a ratio, and can be changed to your personal preference and how many ripe tomatoes you have. One medium-sized tomato to a medium-sized cucumber works very well.
1-3 ripe tomatoes
1-3 fresh cucumbers
salt and pepper (to taste)
dash of olive oil
feta cheese (optional)
1. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces (small, about one 1’’.) Make sure to save the tomato juice, and pour it into the mixing bowl with the tomato pieces.
2. Dice the cucumbers into small pieces.
3. Add salt and pepper, and thoroughly mix them together. (I found that using my hands is easiest.)
4. Crumble and add the feta.
Unlike lettuce salad, this salad just gets better the next day.