Thursday, May 26, 2016

How Does My Garden Grow: Summer Vegetable Salad

The summer garden is in full swing. The beans are abundant, squashes are arriving, tomatoes are ripening, spring onions are ready, and we have harvested the last of the remaining spring carrots and beets.

Mother Nature produces phenomenal flavors and textures, and she intends for you to enjoy it as close to nature as possible.  This salad stays close to its roots and is made with only a handful of fresh ingredients.  If you have ever played in the dirt (a/k/a gardening) and harvested fresh vegetables then I don't have to describe the phenomenal flavors, colors and textures.

If you enjoy summer vegetables salads don't limit yourself to only the ingredients listed here in my recipe.  Mix and match, and use what is seasonally available. 

An important ingredient in dressing salads is olive oil and all olive oils are not created equal.  Think of olive oil like wine and find the right match.  In this salad I created a light vinaigrette using a Tuscan style citrus blend (lemon, lime and tangerine) olive oil which adds brightness and paired perfectly with this fresh summer salad.  If you are interested in high quality olive oils then check out  Pasolivo Olive Oils hand crafted olive oils from California.

Salads like this one remind me at the end of the day simple is indeed best.

Summer Vegetable Salad
Serves 6

1-lb. Use any combination mixed fresh beans,  cut into thirds 
1-2 zucchini sliced and cut into 1' quarters
1-2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
Medium onion, chopped
1 cup good quality feta cheese

For the Vinaigrette 
1/4 cup Pasolivo olive oil or other high quality olive oil
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of Fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil  (if using fresh double the amount)
1 teaspoon dried Oregano (if using fresh double the amount)

Prep all the vegetables. Bring a large pot with a pinch of salt to a boil.  Add vegetables and cook 2-3 minutes.  Immediately drain and then add to an ice water bath to stop cooking (Tip: Keeps vegetables bright). Drain well.  Add vegetables to a large bowl.

For the Vinaigrette:
In a small bowl whisk together vinegar,  salt, black pepper, mustard, basil and oregano.  Slowly whisk  in olive oil to emulsify.

Note: You can add all the salad dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake until the dressing is emulsified.



Rhodesia said...

Our garden is very late this year but we have an overdose of broad beans at present, luckily we love them. I planted late because of the colder weather and because we are going to be away for four weeks from 9 June. I am hoping the garden will be watered while we are away and we will come home to abundant veggies.
This salad looks delicious, just the type we enjoy. Have a good weekend Diane

Big Dude said...

Looks like the garden is serving you well. The salad looks delicious, especially with all of that feta.

Tina said...

I have already gotten some sweet tomatoes from the patio variety, used those in a spinach salad. I love your vinaigrette.

Rambling Tart said...

This makes me smile so big, Velva. I've been in my garden a lot recently, and it makes me so happy. :-)

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love using things I've grown! What a wonderful salad and the dressing sounds really delicious, Velva!

Julie said...

Beautiful salad. I'm envious of all of those delicious veggies! Hope you are having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Marcelle said...

This salad looks wonderful, it's so amazing to enjoy goods that you've grown. So far the only thing I've had luck growing are jalapenos :) Lovely vinaigrette recipe too.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love simple food like this, esp. it is from your own garden to the table..totally great!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Your garden salad looks great. Since I don't have a garden now that we are in Florida, I've been going to a farmer's market each Saturday for fresh veggies. I like yellow wax beans but haven't seen any so far but have some nice green ones for the salad.

Unknown said...

Looks Devine and Healthy!!!😋

Sippity Sup said...

I don't have room for a proper garden, so I envy your bounty. However I do grow some fruit (tangerines, figs, passionfruit, guava, lemon) and am anxious to try a similarly themed fruit salad later in the season. GREG

Gloria Baker said...

Look delicious, thatis I love in Spring times, all you can find :)

~~louise~~ said...

Beat me with a wet noodle, I didn't plant any fruits or vegetable this year. While looking at your most gorgeous sald Velva I already know I regret it! I am absolutely in love with that Vinaigrette too. Oh gosh, simply delightful!

Thank you so much for sharing your bounty with us Velva...

grace said...

we're just starting to see some green tomatoes and the beginnings of some squash, and it's SO EXCITING! here's hoping the deer and bugs stay away... :)

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Can I borrow your green thumb, Velva? Your veggie salad looks amazing and I'd love to have a bountiful garden so I can make my own (but thank goodness for the farmers' market as a back up:)).

Kitchen Riffs said...

I love garden season! Hoping we'll get a decent crop of tomatoes this year -- the squirrels have been beating us to them lately. Anyway, super dish -- thanks!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Velva, your salad is amazing, looks like your garden is growing like mad, beets and carrots already, wow! you sound like an experienced gardener.

Pam said...

Velva, it looks delicious! My kind of salad! Thanks for the recipe.

That Girl said...

Lately all I want is salads!

Vicki said...

I've been on a salad kick lately. I've never had a salad like this that I can remember. It looks so good!

Vicki said...

I've been on a salad kick lately. I've never had a salad like this that I can remember. It looks so good!

Katerina said...

I love salads especially during summer and this one with the feta is perfect!

Uno Spicchio Di Melone said...

woooow! I love it!

Barbara said...

Terrific, Velva! Love the herbs in your vinaigrette.

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