Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Vacation Salad

Just as we're about to leave town for anything longer than a weekend the panic sets in. What to do with all that produce that won't make it until we're back? This time our Angelic Organics CSA box arrived Wednesday and we were leaving for Traverse City, Michigan, (more on that in a later post) on Saturday, so it was quite a bounty!

First, I whipped up some pico de gallo but in the flurry of packing, cooking, searching for bathing suits, and back to school preparations, I never got around to taking photos. Rest assured it was suitably fresh and piquant with lots of jalepenos, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime, and even a few chopped tomatillos thrown in for good measure. We brought it along in the cooler and ate it all vacation long with chicken, over pulled pork, on eggs, and mixed with pasta.

For my next endeavor, Vacation Salad. What's Vacation Salad you ask? Why, it's anything you need it to be. That is the beauty of Vacation Salad.
To make Vacation Salad simply dump the perishable contents of your refrigerator as well as the wire basket or whatever contraption you use to store non-refrigerated vegetables onto the counter. For us that meant I was staring down exactly 4 ears or sweet corn, 8 tomatoes (that was after the pico de gallo), 2 green peppers, one red bell pepper, one banana pepper, one zucchini, one yellow squash, a white onion and two lemons. Get chopping.
Then make a splash of dressing and drizzle over the top. Mix it all up and pack it in the cooler.
The longer it sits, the better it gets. For maximum flavor, enjoy on a balcony overlooking a beautiful mist-hooded lake.
Now obviously, the allure of this salad is that you can make it out of whatever you happen to have on hand. Here's how ours went down.
Our Summer Vacation Salad

Corn kernels cut from 4 ears of sweet corn
8 tomatoes (any variety)
2 green peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 small yellow squash
1 zucchini
1 banana pepper
1 medium onion

For the dressing

1 clove garlic
1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
zest of one lemon
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

1. Place corn kernels in a large bowl. Chop all the other vegetables into 1/4-inch dice and add to the corn.
2. To make the dressing, puree the garlic and basil in a blender. Add the lemon zest and juice and pulse to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil through the top opening in the blender lid while continuing to pulse. Season with salt and pepper and pour over vegetables. Mix the whole concoction together and serve, or pack it up in tupperware for your own vacation, or at the very least, a leisurely picnic lunch. 


  1. I'm suuuuuper loving this basil-y, garlic-y dressing. Put that on all the things! (oh wait...you already did.) ;-)

    1. :) I had to restrain myself with just one clove of garlic!