Salad of the gods

Posted by Anita on 08.10.09 8:13 PM

(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*It’s finally happening: We’re finally harvesting enough fresh vegetables from our garden to make a meal, or most of one. True, this week we still bought tomatoes — although, look how gorgeous they are… can you blame us? By next week at this time, when our first branch of tomatoes is fully ripe, we’ll be able to make this recipe without much help from the farmers. This time around, we’re proud enough that half the bulk of our One Local Summer dinner for the week came straight from the yard.

To celebrate this harvest milestone, I wanted to make sure that we found a recipe that wasn’t diluted with a lot of extraneous stuff. Looking at our bumper cucumber crop, I immediately though of Greek salad, but every recipe I found was almost half lettuce — which seemed a little counter to the occasion. Our lettuce patch is eking along pretty well in our mild coastal climate — we’ll have enough to spare for the BLT Challenge later in the month — but it seems a little sacrilegious to bulk up fresh tomatoes and cucumbers with a bunch of leaves. So I improvised a simple salad, and both of us were extremely happy with the results.

We served our garden bounty alongside a coil of grilled Basque-style sausage from our friends at Fatted Calf, and scooped everything up with a batch of homemade pita bread, made with a mix of locally grown whole-wheat flour (from Eatwell Farm) and locally milled Giusto’s bread flour. It was, if I dare say so, a feast fit for a Mediterranean deity.

(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*

Greek Salad
3/4 pound tomatoes, cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
2 cups cucumber, peeled and seeded if desired, and cut into chunks
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 T red wine vinegar
3 T chopped Italian parsley
2 T fresh mint
1 T fresh oregano
1 T chives

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 ounces)

Toss all ingredients except feta in medium bowl to blend. Gently mix in cheese, and season with salt and pepper.

Farmers and food artisans who created the ingredients for this week’s recipe:One Local Summer 2009
Lucero Organic Farms, Lodi: Heirloom tomatoes
Capay Fruits & Vegetables, Capay: red peppers
Catalán Family Farm, Hollister: Red onions
Bariani, Sacramento: Olive oil
O Olive Oils, San Rafael: wine vinegar
Spring Hill Cheese Company, Petaluma: Feta cheese
…and our homegrown cucumbers, parsley, mint, oregano, and chives

garden, locavore, One Local Summer, recipes



Comment by Josh

My fiance and I have been working on salads lately. This one looks like a good one to add to the repertoire! :) Unfortunately, we have no bountiful garden with which to make a salad, so we rely on what we buy.

Posted on 08.11.09 at 4:02AM

Comment by Anita

Yay for your fresh vegetables from your garden! It’s very exciting. We have a few herbs growing, potatoes, snow peas, broccoli and tomatoes… although they’re just starting.. can’t wait for spring when we can grow more :)

Posted on 08.13.09 at 4:23AM

Comment by liz

Beautiful photo of the tomatoes. I love all the different colors.

Posted on 08.13.09 at 6:19PM

Comment by Sean

I’m chagrinned to say I haven’t dropped in in a while. I love what you’re doing with the dim lighting and dark background. I am sick to death of the Donna Hay whiteout effect that has taken over the food blogosphere. Your approach offers much more drama and depth.

Posted on 08.14.09 at 8:53AM

Comment by faustianbargain

your garden is gorgeous. have you heard of root trainers..they are like long compartments(opens like a book) that train roots to grow straight and strong..when transplanted the roots remain undisturbed.

a cheaper home version is the cardboard core of bathroom tissue rolls and kitchen towel rolls. carrots, radishes and daikons should do well altho’ roottrainers are mostly used for beans and peas. but then again, i dont think you need any help with that. i dont have a raised vegetable bed and my soil is mostly clay and sometimes i get pebbly rocks when i dig. filling the tubes with compost and top soil helps train them with less cost.

Posted on 08.14.09 at 9:31PM

Comment by Michael Procopio

I’ve been so behind in my reading.

This horiatiki looks even better than the one I serve nightly. Seriously. I think it must be the mint and chive additions. And, of course, the fact that it has come from your garden. When are you going to start making your own feta or have I somehow missed that post?

And I am very proud to say that I am not even sure who this Donna Hay person is.

Posted on 08.31.09 at 2:36PM

Comment by Kaarina

Ugh! Wish I had had this this summer when our tomatoes were amazingly amazing! Our container gardens just were a never ending gush of sweet red ‘maters. Next year! Thanks for your blog- it cracks me up.

Also, have you ever had caper leaves in greek salad? It is an experience you must have.

Posted on 10.08.09 at 10:42AM

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