Sunday, June 24, 2012

Too Many Tomatoes? Some Refreshing Ideas

Too many tomatoes is a happy problem to have!  Roy and the girls love the following salads which are a welcome change from the usual baked beans and potato salad. The first two are based on an oil and vinegar dressing while the last one gets its zing from lemon juice.  When the weather is sticky and hot, these salads are refreshing and yummy!  

Green Bean Salad

                                         3 diced tomatoes                                         
1 pound green beans
2 tablespoons diced onion
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 oz. of crumbled feta cheese

Snap the ends off the green beans, place into a pot of boiling water, turn down the heat, and cook until tender yet still a bit firm.  Drain the beans.  While the beans are cooking, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder together in a bowl that will be large enough to hold the salad.  Add the diced onion and tomatoes. Stir and add the cooked beans.  Before serving, sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on top.  Sometimes I add a 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves if I'm not serving any thing else with basil in it. This is great served warm, room temperature, or cold.  

Summer Spaghetti

                                   4 to 5 large tomatoes, diced                                   
3 tablespoons onion, diced
1 package fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 package spaghetti

While cooking the spaghetti according to package directions, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Place the oil mixture in a serving bowl and add the tomatoes, onion, and basil.  When the spaghetti is done, drain it, and add it to the bowl.  Toss to coat.  Serve immediately or chilled.  This also tastes wonderful with the addition of olives and quartered artichoke hearts.

Tomato, Parsley, and Cucumber Salad

1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
2 tomatoes, finely diced
2 green onions, sliced
1 spring mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  This is delicious with pita bread and feta cheese.

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