It’s August and too hot to cook, that is an indisputable fact. The temptation to eat in an air conditioned restaurant where someone else does the meal prep, cooking and clearing up afterwards is never stronger. But since I live on a farm that grows an abundance of fresh, organic produce and all natural beef, lamb and chicken it seems like sacrilege to give in to that terrible pull of laminated menus with pretty pictures of artfully arranged food from halfway across the country.
So I cook early in the morning after chores are done, before it gets too hot to leave the windows open to cool the kitchen. If I make a different salad every few days we always have several choices and all we need to make dinner is to throw something tasty from the freezer onto the grill.
Today’s effort was an Italian Salad but I think of it as a “throw everything in the garden in” salad. So that means cucumber, roma tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash. A box of tri-color rotini and a dressing I made from herbs growing outside the kitchen door and we’re set. If it’s a side dish I serve it as is, but for my lunch I’ll dice up some summer sausage from our sheep and mozzarella and I’m good until dinner.
Betty Crocker’s Italian Dressing
¾ cup oil (I used olive)
¼ cup white vinegar (I used cider, it’s what I had and think of the health benefits)
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard (I had the stuff you put on hot dogs)
2 chopped cloves of garlic
½ teaspoon paprika (ok I didn’t even see this one)
½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves (I had fresh)
⅛ teaspoon dried thyme (more fresh)
and why not?
You can see I don’t follow a recipe religiously and that drives Kyle crazy but it tastes good, I used what we grew, and it never tastes the exact same way twice so it won’t seem like the same old salad if I make it every week while we have fresh produce from the garden. It’s a long wait until next summer’s garden bounty.
What’s growing in your garden?