Tag Archives: dijon

Tomatoes and Cucumbers…the Fruits of the Season!

Wow, where has the time gone? I can’t believe it’s already August. And I can’t believe that it’s been so long since I’ve had a blog post. I guess vacations, cleaning up the overgrown yard of the new house, and every day life got in the way. So sorry, I’ll do better, I promise!

The warm weather and humidity continues in this area, Heat waves and thunderstorms have been a regular occurrence, it seems like since June. The only good thing is that the produce has been delicious and abundant. During this time of the summer, tomatoes and cucumbers are especially delicious, and they make the perfect summer salad.

For me, nothing says summer like cucumber and tomato salad. With the addition of some basil and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, it’s the perfect side for any meal. Not to mention, it’s great to keep the oven and stove off!

To start, use about equal parts cucumbers and tomatoes. I used 2 cucumbers and 3 large, ripe tomatoes (I know there are 4 in the picture, but I only used 3). Core the tomatoes, and slice into chunks. Add to a large bowl. Peel the cucumbers, and slice into rounds. Add to the same bowl. Finally, add fresh basil. Use 10 basil leaves, thinly sliced, and add to the same bowl.tomatoesslicedchoppedcucumberpeeledready for dressingbasilNext, grab a small bowl to make the vinaigrette. Use equal parts Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar. I used about 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Whisk the two to combine. Add about 3 times the amount of olive oil. I used about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk until emulsified. Add salt and pepper. ingredientsmustardbalsamicPour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and stir to combine.

My favorite way to enjoy this salad is after it’s sat for about 30 minutes, so the juices of the tomato combine with the vinaigrette. One caveat though, be sure to let the salad marinate on the counter. The salad is best at room temperature, and it really is delicious. Fresh, crunchy, and tangy…just perfect!

Enjoy this last month of summer before it’s gone. And stay cool!

Strawberry Chicken Salad-A Great Summer Meal!

Chopped StrawberriesOne of my favorite things to make in the summer, especially when it’s hot out, is a dinner salad.  It’s easy to make, healthy, and quick.  I especially love to add summer produce and make a sweet, summery dressing.  This recipe combines ripe strawberries, tart dried cherries, crunchy walnuts, all with a sweet honey Dijon dressing.

This salad recipe makes a big single serving for dinner for me, but probably two smaller servings for the normal eater. 🙂  Feel free to double, triple, quadruple…whateverBoston Lettuce you need.  It’s pretty flexible.  And please, substitute away.  If you’d rather have peaches and pecans, go for it.  If you don’t like dried cherries, leave them out…or substitute cranberries.  It’s easy!

To start, make the vinaigrette in the bowl you’re using.  This way, it’s easy clean up.  Just 1 bowl to deal with. Whisk together 1 teaspoon Dijon, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar until well combined.  Slowly add 2 teaspoons olive oil, and continue whisking until it’s emulsified and Viniagretteall of the oil has been combined.  Next, you’re just going to pile in the salad ingredients.

A few months ago I wrote about grilling chicken for my Italian Grilled Chicken Salad.  You can use those same instructions for this recipe or use a different recipe.  You want 1 large or 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked.  Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and add to a bowl.  Hull 1 pint strawberries, chop, and add to the bowl.  Take 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, chop, and add Walnutsto the bowl with the chicken.  Add 1/2 cup dried cherries and 1/2 cup walnuts.

Toss the salad together, making sure everything has some of the dressing, and serve.  I prefer this salad at room temperature, but leftovers do well in the fridge.  Also, as I said before, feel free to substitute and experiment.  You can also add your favorite cheese to the salad.  The possibilities are endless.Salad