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Fire and Ice Salad - marinated tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers

Fire and Ice Salad

  • Author: Melissa | My Homemade Roots


This vintage Southern Fire and Ice Salad is a zesty dish of marinated tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and cucumbers. Serve it as a side dish or enjoy it for lunch on a hot summer day.


Units Scale
  • 6 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced (I prefer to use an English cucumber) *see notes below
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute of choice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper


  1. In a large, heat-safe bowl or pan, combine the tomato wedges, sliced pepper, and sliced onion. Set cucumbers aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, salt, and ground black pepper. Heat the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  3. After the marinade has cooled for 5 minutes (the marinade should be hot, but not scalding hot), carefully pour it over the tomato, pepper, and onion mix. Stir gently to combine. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
  4. When the marinade vegetables have cooled, mix in the sliced cucumber.
  5. Refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours (preferably 3-4) before serving. Gently toss it in the marinade once or twice during this time.
  6. Before serving, taste and adjust salt and pepper.


I prefer to use a cucumber with little to no seeds in this recipe because the seeds tend to be watery and dilute the flavor of the brine. I use one English cucumber, or 3-4 mini seedless cucumbers, or 2-3 pickling cucumbers. If using a regular slicing cucumber, I find it’s better to slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds using a spoon before slicing. You can decide whether or not to peel the cucumbers. I tend to leave the peel on if it’s a thin-skinned cucumber like the English variety.