Last updated: August 11. 2014 9:34AM - 166 Views
By Noel Lizotte Noel@ApronFreeCooking.com

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I love garden produce. Especially produce from the neighbors’ gardens! This summer we’ve seen the bounty of several neighborhood gardens – zucchini and squash from one house, cucumbers from another and tomatoes from a third!

This salad capitalizes on those fresh veggies. You can grow your own, shop at a farmer’s market or produce stand, if your neighbors aren’t the sharing kind. Honestly, I have yet to meet a backyard gardener who isn’t willing to share some of their crop.

I like to remind my daughter that “zucchini brings people together.” She disagrees with me, simply based on the fact that she is not a fan of zucchini yet. I’m still working on that.

Red White & Green Salad

1 sm. Cucumber

1 sm. Onion

4 Plum Tomatoes

¼ c. Italian Dressing

Slice the cucumber into quarter inch slices. Cut slices in half to make them bite sized. Slice the onion into very thin slices. Cut the tomatoes in half and then slice the halves into quarter inch pieces. Toss all the vegetables in a bowl with the salad dressing. Refrigerate for half hour before serving.

Approximate Nutrition Information: Servings Per Recipe: 2, Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144, Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 495mg, Total Carbs: 16g, Protein: 4g.

Make it a Meal: An excellent side dish for summer barbecues, this salad compliments your grilled meats. Served over shredded lettuce and topped with a sprinkle of cheese and you’ve got a nice luncheon salad.

Variations: Add some diced red or green peppers to the mixture. Replace the Italian dressing with ranch dressing for a creamy sauce.

This recipe is a bit of a spin on a classic garden recipe – the cucumber, onion and vinegar salad. I used to have that classic at my mother-in-law’s house on Sunday afternoons. She mixed up a wonderful dressing using vinegar that I have never been able to reproduce.

My solution, use a dressing that I like from a bottle. I know that’s taking a short cut, but it’s sure better than tossing the salad to the critters when I fail to make a tasty dressing.

I added the tomatoes this time around primarily because they were ripe and sitting on the counter. However, they add a pop of bright red color and a mild sweetness to counteract the tart onions.

If you want to put some real zing in the salad, use a red onion … those slices will provide some heat as well as adding some purple color to the dish.

For potlucks or large family dinners, you’ll want to expand this recipe. Double, triple or even double the triple portions to fill you big serving bowl. I’m pretty sure your family will eat as much as you place on the table!

And if you’re feeling generous, place a couple servings in a bowl and take it over to the neighbors, they’ll be glad to sample the fruits of their garden!

Reader Feedback: Pizza lovers delight sandwich drew lots of comments – mostly of the “my kids love it!” variety. One suggestion for serving was using an entire loaf of Italian bread, making a giant sandwich and cutting individual servings from the long loaf. This would be a great addition to your tail gate party spread.

Noel Lizotte is enjoying the summer sunshine! More recipes are available on her website or in her cookbook, for sale at www.ApronFreeCooking.com

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