Monday, August 10, 2015

Cherry Tomato and Cucumber Salad


This salad is so simple.  Straight from my garden where cherry tomatoes are ripening and tiny pickling cucumbers are finally starting to take off.  It's a favorite of mine at this time of year.  If you're not growing your own then a trip to the farmers' market is always fun!  I love walking up and down the aisles for local produce this time of year. 


The dressing is made with a few things I keep on hand.


This small jar of dried herbs and coarse sea salt is something I always have handy for making seasoned olive oil for dipping crusty French bread.  My grandsons love dipping their bread and they recently discovered that a grilled cheese tastes great dipped into the seasoned olive oil :)  The herb blend is simply equal parts dried basil and oregano with a good pinch of dried red pepper flakes and an extra big pinch of coarse sea salt.  Shake it up, put in a shallow dish and add extra-virgin olive oil.  Dip away!


I found it also makes a great dressing for fresh tomatoes. I just add a couple shakes of the herb blend, drizzle the salad with olive oil and add a tiny splash of good red wine vinegar.  Today, I added a salsa pepper that I am also growing and snipped some fresh basil over the top.  A little grind of black pepper. Toss. Eat. Enjoy.


Add a slice of baguette dipped in the seasoned olive oil - lunch is served! Even better eaten outdoors enjoying the late summer view.


This is more of a method than an actual recipe - feel free to experiment!

Cherry Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Herb Dressing

Printable Recipe

Seasoned Herb Blend (to use as a dressing for tomatoes and cucumbers or to mix with olive oil for bread dipping)

1/4 cup dried California basil
1/4 cup dried Turkish oregano
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

Put everything into a small jar and shake until blended together.

To make seasoned olive oil for bread dipping, for one person place about 1 teaspoon in a small, shallow dish and cover with olive oil.

To make the Cherry Tomato and Cucumber Salad:

Cherry Tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
Small cucumbers or pickling cucumbers, sliced
Sweet peppers or salsa peppers, diced (optional)

Add as many tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers as you would like to serve each person. Season with the herb blend (about 1-2 teaspoons per person). Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and add a small splash of red wine vinegar. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and toss. Add freshly chopped basil, if desired.

56 comments:

  1. Love the image of the boys dipping:) And your pale blooms..the salad looks delicious..your Caesar salad dressing recipe is already hard copy in the fridge ..as you know..and emailed to one DD:)
    Last night we had the garden tomatoes in that no cook pasta sauce:)
    Totally elegant pots.

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    1. I want to try the grilled cheese dipping myself :) I LOVE that pasta. Next up :)

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  2. What a wonderful idea with fresh cucumbers and tomatoes from your yard, I love fresh salads and they would go great with my home made bagels with sponge that I made recently in my blog that I posted. The flowers are beautiful from your garden too.

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    1. That does sound like a great idea, Rosa - thank you!

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  3. Love cherry tomatoes! and this salda look absolutely beautiful Susan!!

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  4. and yoursflowers look georgeous!!!!
    xo

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  5. Yum! Thanks for sharing. Beautiful flowers!!
    Daughter brought me some cucumbers and tomatoes from her garden Saturday, but will have to wait until the tomatoes ripen before I make a salad.
    Enjoy your evening.

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  6. Simple dishes are usually the best, esp. when made with the produce from your own garden. You have an amazing garden, Susan.

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  7. a fresh and delicious recipe, your garden is wonderful Susan ! hugs & kisses

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    1. Thank you, Chiara ;) Hugs to you back in Trieste!

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  8. Glad to hear your planters are doing well Susan! Nothing but string beans for me this year, but I'll give it another try next year-enjoy:@)

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    1. I'm sorry your planters aren't doing well this year, Lynn! My cherry tomatoes aren't quite as vigorous this year but still doing well. Yes, always fun to think about next year's garden :)

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  9. This is definitely my kind of salad. I could eat this day and night and be a happy girl. Your photography is spectacular Susan.
    Sam

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    1. Same here, Sam! I could eat this every day. Thanks so much :)

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  10. Jewels of summer--that's what I call those lovely tomatoes and cucumbers! We never tire of them. Your plants are beautiful.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. They do look like jewels, don't they? Although summer is nearing the end I love all of the wonderful local veggies this time of year!

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  11. We are getting all of these ingredients in our CSA today! Can't wait to make this as a side for dinner tonight.

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    1. CSA - another wonderful way to get beautiful summer produce, Joanne! You don't even have to find a farmers' market :) Hope you enjoy it!

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  12. How lovely to have an abundant of cherry tomatoes and cucumbers right outside your house! This is a truly beautiful and delicious salad!

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    1. It is wonderful, Jasline! The work is so worth it. Thanks :)

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  13. I LOVE your cherry tomatoes! am gonna have to plant some next year! Here people prefer the giant heritage tomatoes, but I think the cherry ones have more concentrated flavor. Love your cucumbers too! Your post are such a holistic vision of a perfect life close to nature, with a beautiful garden and wonderful family, it is a great escape :)

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    1. Thank you, Joumana, for your kind words! If you can find a variety called Tumbling Tom cherry tomato they are my favorite as they grow more like a bush than a tree. No staking required.

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  14. Great looking salad made even better when it's from your own garden.

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  15. A beautiful, colorful salad and gorgeous flowers!! :)

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  16. I just whipped up a jar of your Herb Blend! Can't wait to make a beautiful salad like yours with some dipping oil.

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    1. You'll love a crusty piece of bread dipped into the herb oil, Debbie! Thanks :)

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  17. Ohl my what beautiful flowers, beautiful garden, wondeful tomatoe and cucumber salad.and we love your method of seasonings!

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  18. Hi Susan, your garden looks like it is in tip top shape, oh the beauty. I love making a dish out of what I grow it is so satisfying, love this salad, the best of what summer has to offer.

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    1. I'm not showing the ragged parts of the garden :) The containers are still doing great, at least! Thank you, Cheri!

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  19. This looks like summer on a plate, so pretty and fresh and inviting.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. It does! I would it would last for several more months. Thank you Amalia.

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  20. When you're using your garden produce, simple is always the best way. Let those flavor explode. Fabulous color, Susan, and the dressing is perfect!
    Your urn is lovely....

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    1. So true, Barbara! I hope to eat as many of these as I can in the next month before things start to wane. Thank you!

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  21. Perfect summer salad Susan. I love your herb blend. Will have to make it soon. So nice to have on hand! You have a way with flowers and vegies.

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    1. Thank you, Penny! I love gardening and growing things. Enjoy the herb blend! It's great to have on hand.

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  22. I've been eating a lot of salads this summer and now that heirloom tomatos are in season I'll enjoy some prepared this way, Susan. You flowers look so beautiful! It has been a good summer-- enjoy every moment!

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    1. I am certainly trying to enjoy every moment, Pat! I hope you are doing the same in your beautiful Colorado.

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  23. You definitely have a green thumb, Susan! Your flowers are gorgeous. And your salad has to be delicious with that great dressing. A perfect little lunch with the baguette!

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    1. Thank you, Pam! It was a great lunch and will continue to be enjoyed for a few weeks, hopefully :)

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  24. I plan to make this dressing on a salad, I just put together which happens to be heavy in fresh tomatoes and cukes. It sounds full of flavor.

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  25. I love your little herb vase Susan! It may be small in the eye but has some powerful herbs hidden inside! Perfect summery salad not only to eat but also to look with these beautiful, vibrant colors!

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  26. Your salad looks fabulous! I know what we will be using tomatoes for this week! I love tomato time.
    The store is Brennan's in Madison - worth the drive. We brought back $200 worth of cheese. It has been
    featured in several meals - just the way I grew up - great cheese, a little bread or crackers and a dessert!

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  27. I wish I had thought to put red pepper flakes in mine - this looks so fresh and wonderful! Don't you just love garden tomatoes - I will miss them so much when they are gone :(

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  28. I'm getting CSA cherry tomatoes tomorrow! Love this as a simple side salad!

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