Super Simple Spring/Summer Salad

This is the simplest salad that I know. My mother used to make this, but also included the now-debatablyendangered hearts of palm, during the summer when tomatoes and avocados were at their bests. It’s a bit early for this salad, and, to my complete horror, I almost missed this avocado (sorry that I didn’t use a more beautiful one in the pic–it was my last).

I have to remember that hydration can come in the form of food, not just by drinking the prescribed numbers of glasses of water. So, come ON hydration!

Super Simple Spring/Summer Salad

2015-05-28 13.02.27Prep-time: 10 minutes
Serving Size: 2 (as entrees), 2-4 (as side dish)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 2-3 T balsamic vinaigrette

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Serve immediately or marinade for up to 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes or so.

Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad with Roasted Spiced Chickpeas by Oh She Glows

Have I sung “Summertime” to you, yet?  Oh, yes… ok… well, on to the recipe.  And thank you, Oh She Glows!

By the way… check out the Roasted Spiced Chickpea recipe, below the salad recipe. Oh.  These are going in a dish at my next gathering.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad with Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

Ingredients (3 servings)

    Dressing

    • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
    • 1.5-2 tablespoons natural cane sugar, to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

    Salad

    • 2 medium field cucumbers
    • 1 red pepper, diced
    • 1 cup diced red onion
    • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
    • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
    • Roasted spiced chickpeas (click for recipe)

    Instructions

    1. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and adjust to taste. Feel free to add more sweetener if you prefer. Set aside.
    2. Peel cucumbers, slice off the ends, and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a small spoon (see photo in post if necessary). Slice halves into 1/8-inch “half moons” and toss into a large bowl. If your cucumbers are really big you can slice the half-moons in half as well.
    3. Dice the red pepper and red onion and add into bowl. Roughly chop cilantro and add into bowl. Pour in all the dressing and toss to combine. Let this salad sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge, tossing every 10 minutes or so to help the dressing soak in.
    4. Meanwhile, prepare the roasted chickpeas (if desired). Recipe follows.
    5. Portion into bowls and top with peanuts and optional roasted chickpeas. Serve immediately.

    Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

    Yield: 1.5 cups chickpeas or 3 (1/2 cup) servings

    Ingredients:

    • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (or 1.5 cups cooked)
    • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

    1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a medium baking sheet with a couple pieces of paper towel.

    2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place onto paper towel. Add a couple paper towels on top and roll the chickpeas around until completely dry. This helps them crisp up in the oven.

    3. Add the chickpeas into a medium mixing bowl and stir in the oil until coated. Now stir in the rest of the seasonings.

    4. Discard paper towel and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Add chickpeas back onto the baking sheet.

    5. Roast at 400F for 20 minutes. Give the pan a gentle shake to stir the chickpeas and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until golden and lightly charred on the bottom. I roast for a full 40 minutes because I like them on the crispy side, but keep an eye on them as oven temps vary.

    6. Cool for 5 minutes or so and then top on your salad. They will lose their crispness quickly so these are best enjoyed immediately. You can also freeze the chickpeas once fully cooled and reheat them in the oven for 5 minutes or so to bring back the crispness.
    Original post, here.

    Gazpacho by Alton Brown (Food Network)

    I can watch Alton Brown all day long.

    I can eat gazpacho all summer long.

    If you do a quick search for “gazpacho,” you will find a ton of different recipes.  The beautiful thing about this cold, Spanish (Adalusian, in the south) soup is that you can do a ton of variations.  I do really appreciate L.V. Anderson’s Slate article about creating the most “authentic” version of this recipe.  I offer you Alton Brown’s recipe only because, well, who doesn’t like “Good Eats,” and because it is super easy and has a lot of texture.  I prefer some chew in my soup.  But, check out Anderson’s smooth and creamy recipe, as well.  The addition of almonds in Anderson’s recipe makes the soup creamier and more substantial. It is lovely.

    As the tomatos become more and more interesting, throughout the summer, I suggest playing around with your gazpacho recipes. Plum tomatoes are always a good choice, and you can combine them with fancier tomatoes for the soup and to stretch out your heirlooms or whatever else you might use.  I love jalapeño in gazpacho–to me, it is a must.  Instead of other herbs and spices, I also highly recommend adding a dollop of freshly made sofrito, if you ever get the chance.

    See the foodnetwork.com original post (below), for the gazpacho segment of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.”

     Image courtesy of Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    Image courtesy of Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

    Gazpacho

    Prep Time: 45 min
    Inactive Prep Time: 2 hr 0 min
    Servings: 4

    Ingredients
    1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
    Tomato juice
    1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
    1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    1/2 cup chopped red onion
    1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced
    1 medium garlic clove, minced
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 lime, juiced
    2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
    Directions
    Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil.

    Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.

    Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with chiffonade of basil.

    Original post, here.