Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Fresh Tomato and Cucumber Salad
As your backyard produce starts to hit it's peak, this is a great, tasty way to make sure it gets used. We have cucumbers coming out our ears, so we'll be having this for dinner tonight.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
10 fresh basil leaves
5 fresh oregano leaves
3 small fresh cucumbers (pickling or thin slicing)
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, vine ripened
Mince garlic or press through a garlic press. Let garlic stand in balsamic and wine vinegars for 10 minutes (this takes the "edge" off). Discard any garlic which has green sprouts in the center, as the flavor is too sharp and bitter for this salad - use for another purpose.
Wash basil and oregano leaves (pick at noon time on a sunny day for best flavor). Chop and add to your best olive oil and allow to stand in oil while garlic marinates.
Meanwhile, prepare salad ingredients. Wash cucumbers and tomatoes. Peel cucumbers, leaving some of the peel (helps with digestion). Slice cucumbers into 1/4 inch cirlces.
With a sharp knife, remove stem and blossom end from tomatoes. Slice tomatoes into wedges, being careful not to crush and lose juice.
Place tomatoes and cucumbers in salad bowl and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.
Combine olive oil with vinegars, whisking together well. Use to dress tomatoes and cucumbers; serve at room temperature.
Variations: Add 1 thinly sliced red onion, pitted oil cured black olives and fresh mozzarella, sliced (or use the small bocconcini).