Posts Tagged ‘cucumber’

Summer Produce

Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures has an unbelievable array of food blogging events going – don’t know how she keeps up with the round-ups. There are lots of tasty-looking recipes from previous events to read about and maybe try.

Right now, at the height of the summer, the event she has going on is Summer Produce, and we have lots. The basil and roma tomatoes are really coming in now, and the cucumbers are catching up. So I made a sort of caprese salad over greens for dinner one night. I know, using vinegar isn’t traditional, but I just love red-wine vinegar with this, so that’s what I use 🙂

Ingredients for caprese-inspired salad
Fresh basil, cucumber and roma tomato from the garden

Caprese-inspired Green Salad

3 cups chopped romaine
1 small cucumber, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Layer half of romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, cheese and basil in each of two bowls. Whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and drizzle over salads.

Caprese salad over romaine

Grow Your Own: Tzatziki

Grow Your Own 2008For this month’s Grow Your Own food blogging event, hosted by Andrea of, I made tzatziki, the Greek sauce/dip made of yogurt, cucumbers and seasonings. My dill is still doing pretty well, although it likes cooler temperatures, so it probably won’t last much longer. I keep the mint in a strawberry jar on the patio, to keep it from invading and taking over the herb garden.

Ingredients for tzatziki

I love this stuff, especially in the summer – it’s so cool and refreshing. We eat it as a dip with homemade pita chips and crudites, and as a sauce for grilled chicken or gyro sandwiches. Just toast some pita pockets, season chicken with oregano, lemon and garlic (I use Penzey’s Greek seasoning), then slice the chicken and put it in the pita with chopped lettuce and tomato, topped with tzatziki and some feta cheese.

Here, I served it with pita chips and baby carrots.

Tzatziki with pita chips and baby carrots


3 cups plain yogurt, or 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (preferred)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh dill, minced fine
1 tsp. fresh mint, cut into chiffonade
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

If using regular yogurt, place yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl; put bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour to drain excess liquid. If using Greek yogurt, this step is not necessary.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, oil, vinegar, herbs and salt. Add cucumber and mix well. Place in a serving dish, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, to allow the flavors to mingle and make friends 😉

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January 2018
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