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Mom’s Tomato and Cuke Salad

Mom’s Tomato and Cuke Salad

Mom’s Tomato and Cuke Salad


In the summer, when the beefsteak tomatoes were ripe and tipping over their cage, the lemon cukes were taking over the garden, and it was so hot you could smell the scorched dirt, my mom would pick up a celery root at the local market for tomato cucumber salad. 


Gnarled and unlovely, celery root, or celeriac as it is also known, barely looks like food. Once you scrub and scrape away the dirt, however, you are left with a fragrant and mellow-tasting polygon of surprising versatility. It can be grated and eaten raw, mashed with potatoes, butter and garlic, blended into soup, or simmered until tender, marinated, and chilled before being served up in a favorite childhood salad.


My dad could sometimes be coerced into making his magical red-wine vinaigrette that he swears has no recipe and is different every time, but most often we just used bottled Italian dressing. Here I’ve included my recipe for dill vinaigrette. It isn’t really canon, but it’s delicious and makes the salad a wonderful accompaniment to grilled salmon.

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Mom’s Tomato and Cuke Salad



  • 1 medium, unlovely celery root (celeriac) 
  • 2 lemon cucumbers, if you can get them, or 1 regular cucumber, if you can’t
  • 1 enormous beefsteak tomato, or 3 reasonably-sized slicers
  • 1 unassuming red onion



  • 3 Tbsp fresh dill, minced 
  • 3 Tbsp golden balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey or agave syrup
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste



  1. Wash and peel celery root. Cut into large chunks and toss in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until just barely fork tender. Drain and allow to cool before assembling the salad.
  2. Chop cooled celery root into ½-inch pieces. Peel and chop cucumbers into ½ inch-chunks. Chop tomato into ½ inch pieces, and thinly slice red onion.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
  4. Toss together veggies with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving, to allow the flavors to get to know each other. 


Makes about 6 servings

Click to see more great ‘kitchen-tested’ recipes from LifeSource Natural Foods

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