Flavor Combinations. One of my favorite is Feta + Sesame Oil + Soy Sauce. A few years ago a friend taught me this combination. Now that the garden is in full swing I am looking for variations and this one is a hit!
Salad Fusion. Greek or Mediterranean Salad is popular in many countries. We sometimes add onion or olives but the base is always tomatoes and cucumbers. The feta cheese is also a bonus.
Garden Fresh. All the produce comes from my garden! Loving the process of testing in the garden! Most important to me as a rookie is completely discarding the spacing requirements. So liberating to just plant and see what happens. ---know that there is a logic but those spacing requirements on the packages are really designed for row crops!
Step 1: Ingredients
Ingredients are simple. Noted are a few alternate ingredients.
- Vegetables (tomatoes + cucumbers)
- Oil + Vinegar (soy)
- Spices (salt + pepper)
- Cucumbers - these are straight from the garden. four plants from dollartree seed packets have provided a regular bounty of 6-10lbs per week. super pleased with the production
- Tomatoes - the kumatoes used in this recipe were grown from seeds saved from a local gardener in our neighborhood. local seeds tend to be the best for the region. the kumatoes are incredibly sweet
- Peppers, Onion, Squash - easy to vary ingredients as you would any salad. herbs can also be incorporated. main thing I do is avoid lettuce or leafy greens
Oil + Vinegar (soy)
- Sesame Oil - a delicious flavor that we prioritize for salads or cold noodle dishes
- Olive Oil - evo is an obvious favorite for mediterranean dishes
- Rice Vinegar - the flavor of rice vinegar goes very well with either oils and with or without soy sauce (link is for the 1 gallon jug). ---really any vinegar works, white vinegar is totally fine
- Soy Sauce - soy sauce is my most used sauce. I have removed balsamic from my pantry. All soy is at a base level good. balsamic can be very hit or miss and I've lost interest in paying a premium for good balsamic
- Salt - if using a full sodium soy you may want to skip the added salt
- Basil - I don't use it for this one but commonly use in with soy based dressings
Step 2: Cucumber
My approach is to partially peal the cucumber. I use a chinese style butcher knife. By cutting a grid pattern into the cucumber it's easy to quickly slice.
---the butcher knife I have is one I bought in SF's chinatown 10+ years ago. it was $3.99 at the time and has held up beautifully. I suggest the cheapest all stainless knife you can find. I like the 7-8" blade. Here's an 8" blade on amazon.
Step 3: Tomatoes
Any tomato works but I've recently found that roma are the least suitable for a fresh salad. These kumatos are my favorite and I'm often mixing them with green zebra and a variety of yellow or orange heirlooms I've grown from saved grocery store seeds.
Step 4: Mixing
Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Salt or Soy, Pepper, Oil and Feta
Drawing out flavor. I try to add salt or soy after tomatoes so that the salts can start to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes. Generally, the more water content a vegetable has the more the salt will help bring out the flavor.
Feta goes a long way. Really just need a dusting of feta. It goes so far in to bring out flavors and love the salt and oil.
Step 5: Serve + Enjoy
This salad is a summer staple now that the garden is producing. With an average of 1.5lbs of tomatoes and cucumbers each per day it's easy to keep our table supplied.
Thanks for ready! Jeff
Here are a few other instructables from the garden:
- Garden Shelf - easy way to keep tools handy
- Squash Blossoms - how to make use of male blossoms
- How to Propagate Herbs - low effort way to propagate herbs
My garden is a series of experiments! as a rookie garden in only my first full season I've enjoyed starting with a few basic premises...
- spacing requirements are for row crops... as you see in my photos I don't use them. There is a logic but also an approach to relocating and trellising that makes this work
- organic gardening is a cost saver... while I supplemented a potion of my garden with a water soluble fertilizer to check production... more on this to follow in future ible's. The main fuel for this garden is my backyard chicken manure! ---here's how I got started with my current ('18)a-frame coop last year
- trellising is the best part of gardening. I'm using a very limited amount of space with a web of trellis lines to expand the footprint
- for a thrifty gardener... vinegar and baking soda cure most garden issues though it requires some tinkering
- salvaged seeds... under $5 were spent on seeds for the garden. total cost was definitely under $40
- follow for more! @jprussack