If the idea of cottage cheese in a summer tomato salad sounds weird to you, try to think of it like a caprese that just got back from a little Eastern European vacation. While plating the dressed veggies on top of the vinaigrette makes for a more elegant presentation, this salad is just as delicious (though possibly a little less photogenic) when all of the elements are tossed together and allowed to marinate. Serve with grilled kielbasa and wedges of cold ripe watermelon for dessert.
- 1 lb. cherry or other mixed small tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
- 3 small kirby or Persian cucumbers (about 10 oz. total), striped with a peeler, sliced into ¼"-thick rounds
- 4 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
- 1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ bunch radishes (about 8 small; 5 oz. total), grated on the large holes of a box grater
- 1 16-oz. container cottage cheese, preferably large curd, 4% milk fat or higher
- 3 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar, divided
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Gently—but thoroughly—toss tomatoes, cucumbers, scallion whites, 1 tsp. salt, and 4–5 good turns of pepper in a medium bowl to combine. Chill until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, season radishes with ½ tsp. salt in a medium bowl, then toss with your hands to combine, squeezing the radishes until they get good and juicy. Add cottage cheese and 1 Tbsp. vinegar and stir to combine; season to taste with salt. Chill until ready to use.
Spread cottage cheese vinaigrette on a platter. Pour off accumulated liquid from cucumber-tomato mixture. (Reserve the liquid if you like; it’s great over ice with or without a shot of vodka.) Add 2 Tbsp. oil and remaining 2 Tbsp. vinegar to salad and toss gently to combine.
Spoon salad over vinaigrette, drizzle with oil, and garnish with scallion greens and a few turns of pepper.