Monday, July 14, 2008

Papa's garden salad

This was a simple garden salad that my Papa would make fresh as often as he could. He had an enormous garden by the riverside and we would just go pick the ingredients straight from the ground in the summer. I think he would have (and often did) eat this every single day the vegetables were in season. This salad is always a real winner because it's

1. super simple
2. comprised of relatively inexpensive ingredients
3. beautiful when dressed
4. not too weird for picky sorts
5. new to most people (not the same old same old)
6. packed with good-for-you veggies and very little fat
7. so so yummy!

Papa's Garden Salad...
1 cucumber
1 bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes (or a handful of grape tomatoes)
good-quality olive oil
red wine vinegar
seasoning (I use garlic salt, Italian seasoning and fresh black pepper)

Chop the vegetables into bite-size pieces, place all in a bowl. I always half-peel the cucumber that way because it is really pretty and the skin of veggies is so good for you. Sprinkle with seasonings (go easy at first and add more later if you want). Drizzle about 3 tbsp olive oil (I break out the good stuff for salads) and 4-5 tbsp vinegar. Toss salad. Check seasonings and adjust if necessary.

Pan-fry a simple chicken breast and you have a delicious summer meal in less than 15 minutes. Beat that Rachael Ray! Pick up these three simple ingredients and get ready to be a hit at your next BBQ, potluck or summer party.

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