Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Salad

Summer is all about simplicity, and the combination of ingredients in a very Southern summer salad leaves little room for improvement. My trip to the farmers' market at the Memphis Botanic Gardens this past Wednesday was proof of this perfection. I left with 5 kinds of tomatoes, peaches, eggplant, blackberries, and mini cucumbers. An idea was brewing, and once the bounty was set out on the counter, I knew something for sure: I wanted summer salad for dinner.

My grandma used to make this concoction out of tomatoes, cucumber, onions, vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. She kept it in a seafoam green Tupperware container in the fridge, and I always got in a ton of trouble since it became obvious that I was the one secretly picking out all of the tomatoes. Biee would ask where all of the tomatoes went, and I would shrug. (But I knew she knew.)

What I came up with for my own summer salad is less of a recipe and more of a concept. Take small tomatoes that have been left whole or sliced in half, sliced cucumbers, and sliced onions or shallots. Place them into a bowl. Cover halfway with white vinegar. Finish it off by covering the remainder of it with water and adding a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon (or two) of sugar.

Think of summer salad like a quick pickle. Leave it overnight or store about a week. Strain the salad and serve it over arugula with a drizzle of olive oil. Summer perfection on a plate.


JL goes Vegan said...

That salad is gorgeous! Suddenly I have my eye on some poor, defenseless cherry tomatoes in my garden ;)

Bianca said...

My mom always had this in the fridge in the summer too! I have a recipe for something very similar in my cookbook....same thing really, but with added green peppers.

Mel Spillman artwork said...

Granny used to make this too and I truly loved it. She used vidalia oinion and it was divine.