I'm baaaaack! Yes, I had a lovely time in Europe, and yes, I'll post a few pictures as soon as I can, but can I just tell you that after almost three weeks in Central Europe, I am totally craving vegetables! Our food was delicious as we traveled, but our veggies were limited to making appearances in soups and almost always as the side of potatoes to our meals. By the end, I just wanted a giant plate of salad.
Last night, I wanted something simple to go alongside the Spanish tortilla I was making, and I initially thought of making a gazpacho soup. But then I remembered that we're in Kentucky in the middle of winter, and gazpacho is best made with off-the-vine tomatoes. So I settled for a gazpacho salad. Best in the summer, but totally worth the extra money for those red, red grape tomatoes in the winter. And best of all? My kids loved it! Score!
Cook's Notes: To tone down the onion flavor a little, soak the chopped onion in ice water for at least 5 minutes. Drain and use. This salad would also taste great with fresh herbs, such as cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, thrown in.
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved (or any other ripe, tasty tomato, cut into chunks)
1/2 English cucumber, cut into quarters lengthwise and then into chunks
3/4 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 small red onion, peeled and chopped finely
1 large clove garlic, smashed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar would work too)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the olive oil and garlic in a small pan and heat gently until the garlic just starts to brown. Remove from the heat and strain the olive oil into a heat-proof bowl to cool. Discard the garlic.
Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Add a couple of teaspoons of vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the salt and pepper and mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings, oil or vinegar to taste. Let stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the dressing!
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