It’s Salad Time…

Ok, ok…I know it’s Cinco de Mayo.  But I’m not going to rev it up with some fake Mexicali-themed post in honor of the day.  Sorry in advance for that.

But I am gonna talk about summer.  Yep, ladies…it’s that time of year again.  It’s not quite warm enough for growing vegetables yet…at least not here in the mountain country.  But things are warming up and I’ve just had three gloriously sunny days to remind me that shorts are part of my wardrobe, that I need to put sunscreen on religiously and not just kind of sometimes when I feel like it, and that market season is coming and that means tons of fresh produce.  Like, more produce than I can eat (which is a lot).

It also means that salads are going to figure big in my daily diet again.  While always a staple, it just seems a little easier to subsist on greens and veggies when they are fresh and readily available.

So this week’s post is a recipe I just tried and quickly swooned over, because not only is it easy and quick, but it has some of my favorite stuff in it: tomatoes (lycopene!), cucumbers (detox and de-bloat!), olives (tasty!), and balsamic vinegar…which makes just about everything better.  (Ok…except for ice cream.  It probably wouldn’t make ice cream better.)

The best option for your tomatoes is to try to find some tasty heirlooms…but you can also use store-bought cherry tomatoes in a pinch.  Also, if you can find fresh oregano, great…but if not, don’t sweat it.

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This salad was a nice side to a chicken and veggies dinner, and also made a great lunch the next day; but feel free to half the recipe if it just seems like too much.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ingredients

2 c. cucumber, cut into cubes
4-5 heirloom tomatoes, halved or quartered
6 Kalamata olives, halved
1/4 c. walnuts, roughly chopped
2 T. oregano, fresh or dried
4 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1/4 t. salt

Directions

–In a bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and walnuts.
–In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar and salt. Pour balsamic mixture over cucumbers, etc, and toss well.

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