Ways to Stay Cool

With the heat hitting the East Coast, I have been trying to stay cool even with eating.  So here are two recipes/suggestions or salads that are easy to make and keep really well in the refrigerator as well. But both are great at room temperature too.

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The first one is more of a suggestion on amounts since it is a flexible and adjustable type of recipe.

Tomato Salad

 2 or 3 ripe tomatoes or a pint or two of cherry tomatoes
2 or 3 pickling (Kirby) cucumbers
1/2 medium red onion or sweet onion
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil and thyme
olive oil (optional)
If using cherry tomatoes, cut in half.  If using regular tomatoes, cut into slices and into bite size pieces.  Place the tomatoes in a glass bowl.
Peel the cucumbers and cut in half.  Slice thinly.  Slice the onion thinly and into bite size pieces.  Place the cucumber and onion into the bowl with the tomatoes along with the crushed garlic.
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Sprinkle a small pinch or two of salt over the mixture along with some freshly ground black pepper to taste and stir together.  Tear up the basil and add.  Add the fresh thyme.
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Add a small amount of the balsamic vinegar until it looks right.  The tomatoes will make a juice as this sits.  Place in refrigerator for a few hours to “cook.”  You can add olive oil to this but I find that it is really good without it.  You could also use your favorite homemade vinaigrette instead of the balsamic.  It will hold for several days in the refrigerator.
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Cucumber Salad
This one is a variation on one I found over on another website. It is really  more of a quick pickle but really good to eat all by itself.
3 to 3 Kirby cucumbers (pickling cucumbers)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 small sweet onion or red onion
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
about 2 teaspoons country style Dijon mustard
Peel and slice the cucumbers really thin.  Place the cucumbers in a strainer and pour the salt over them.  You want the salt to coat the cucumbers really well.  Allow the cucumbers to “cook” for at least 30 minutes.  Rinse the cucumbers really well under running cold water to rinse off the salt.
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In the meantime, cut your onion in half and slice as thin as possible and set aside.
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In a small bowl, mix the cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and the Dijon mustard together.
Gently squeeze the cucumbers to remove as much excess liquid as possible.  Add the “cooked” cucumbers to the dressing along with the onions. Mix it all up and cover.  Allow to sit in the refrigerator at least an hour before eating.  The flavor gets better if allowed to sit up to 24 hours.
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1 Comment

Filed under Recipes

One response to “Ways to Stay Cool

  1. Yum! This looks delicious. My tomato plants got started late this year — I need them to start producing so that I can make this (or I need to hit the farmer’s market).

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