simple summer salad

Simple summer salads are the best thing in the world. Produce is at it’s peak, herbs are fresh, and it doesn’t get better than that.

One of my favorite summer salads are fresh tomatoes, a cucumber, red onion, and a combination of Italian flat leaf parsley, fresh dill, Italian basil and a simple vinaigrette. If I have a sweet red bell pepper I will often add that as well.

To make the vinaigrette it is equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small canning jar. Add salt and pepper to taste, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

When I make vinaigrette for a mixed greens salad, I will add Dijon mustard to the above mix.

You can see the size I mean in the photo above. You will only use maybe 3 tablespoons of dressing on the salad, but save the rest for regular lettuce salads and just refrigerate.

Peel and cut your cucumber in half lengthwise. If it is not the English hot house burpless variety, remove the seeds.

Toss cucumber into the bowl.

Slice and rough chop fairly thin about half of a large red onion.

Add onion to the bowl.

Take your tomatoes, cut the core out, and slice into large bite-size pieces. Sort of small wedges. Small enough you don’t need to use a knife to cut your salad, but large enough that the tomato doesn’t disintegrate.

Chiffonade the basil leaves. In layman’s terms, that means gently roll up your basil leaves and create thin ribbons by cutting off “slices” of the rolled basil.

Rough chop the Italian flat leaf parsley, and do the same gently with the fresh dill.

Put all the herbs on top of the salad and give one light toss and then add literally 2 to 3 tablespoons of the salad dressing and mix gently and either serve or cover and refrigerate until serving.

And I almost forgot — fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste!

Leftovers are good for a day afterwards, provided you refrigerate.

This is a totally simple, easy to make salad, and it’s delicious! Thank you to my friend Sara for giving me vegetables from her garden. The herbs in the salad came out of my garden!

Bon appétit!

orzo lentil salad


I just felt like making a late summer/early fall salad today.  I woke up and thought that is what I want it so I made it!

I made 2 cups of lentils and 1 cup of orzo according to package directions. Drained and cooled both.

I tossed them into a big metal bowl into that I added four grated medium sized carrots.

Then I added two grated large harder apples. I don’t remember what the Apple I used was – it was local  so maybe Gala.  I put a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar quickly over the Apple so it didn’t turn color while I was preparing the rest of my ingredients.

Next I grated a large red onion. And tossed the onion into the mixture. Then I added a cup of black seedless raisins, and a cup of chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley from the garden.

I added salt and pepper to taste and toss gently and moved onto the vinaigrette.

The vinaigrette was a honey mustard made with half cup of olive oil, and a little over half a cup of apple cider vinegar and sherry vinegar. To that I added salt and pepper to taste, and 2 healthy tablespoons of garlic powder and a few tablespoons of a grainy mustard that I bought from Spread Love Jams, Jellies and Condiments. Finally I added 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar and 4 tablespoons of Carmen B’s local honey. 

I whisked The dressing to a frenzy and poured over the salad and tossed. It’s delicious!