Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cucumber Salad

I was going through my blog archive the other day and realized that it's been a while since I posted a recipe! Sorry! Then again, there isn’t much to report since we haven't cooked much lately. It's been so scorching hot in Chicago!

To make it up to you, here's a quick summer side dish that uses all sorts of fresh produce. Many of you might be growing some of the ingredients in your gardens. Perhaps a fresh tomato?

Don't mind the sweaty clothes. We just got back from the gym.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Cathy, I thought you didn't like tomatoes." And you will be correct. I don't plan on eating the tomato plain or like an apple. This baby will be joining its friends Cucumber and Red Onion in a big salad party.

I present to you Cucumber Salad, as adapted from John's mom. There's no hard and fast recipe for this salad, so feel free to add or subtract as you like. We have fresh basil and oregano, so we tossed some in. Prefer zucchini or despise onions? I won't tell if you change things up.

Notice the pulled pork sandwich? We got the pulled pork from Trader Joe's and it was gooood. The whole meal (for the 2 of us) cost about $8. 
  • Pulled pork (usually serves 3) - $5
  • 2 buns - $0.65
  • Cucumber - $0.65
  • Tomato (we used up one from the grocery store) - $1.10
  • Half of a red onion - $0.25
  • Miscellaneous (salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, herbs from garden) - $0.35
It would have been less if we didn't eat such a large portion. We were hungry after the gym: John lifted weights and I went to a spinning class.

Cucumber Salad
Adapted from Christine Palumbo

One cucumber
One medium/large-ish tomato
Half of a small/medium-ish red onion
A handful of fresh herbs such as basil and oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Slice up the cucumber and red onion. Rough chop the tomato. Add these to a bowl.

Chop or chiffonade your herbs. [See Note below]

Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Mix all ingredients.

You can either serve immediately, or we like to let everything rest for about 15 minutes. That gives the juices and flavors a chance to incorporate.

Note: The instructions suggest to chiffonade the basil. That means to slice the leaves into long, thin ribbons. Chiffonade means “made of rags” in French. Since several of you have commented on our basil plants, I’ll give a chiffonade tutorial and tips on growing basil tomorrow.

Here's the tutorial.
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