I like to think that I do pretty good with eating my vegetables, but taking the Eat Local Challenge always reminds me that I can eat more. My world is revolving around vegetables right now. The garden requires daily harvesting, every day at work there's some new vegetable or fruit arriving from the local farms (Zestar apples already!!!), and it's too hot too eat much besides vegetables.
Today I pulled in 5 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, 2 pounds of cucumbers, 2 pounds of green beans and 2 pounds of beets & greens. The cucumber situation is getting a little out of control. Just last week (not counting today) I harvested 16 pounds of them. I was able to use about 10 pounds of overgrown pickling cucumbers in a giant salad for my friend Morgen's wedding. Usually these cukes are not too good for eating and they're definitely too big for pickling. But the salad was nearly gone by the time I got to the buffet line, so I'm fairly certain it was delicious.
Too Many Cucumbers Salad
5 parts overgrown pickling cucumbers, peeled
2 part tomatoes, seeded and cored
1 part sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 part kalamata olives, sliced
Lots of fresh basil, thinly sliced
Red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Halve the cucumbers lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds. Sure, it seems wasteful. But you weren't going to use these overgrown cukes anyways, right? And the seed slime makes salads too watery.
Cut the cukes in half lengthwise one more time and then slice cross-wise. Chop the seeded tomatoes and add all remaining ingredients into a big salad bowl.
If preparing in advance, keep the dressing ingredients on the side until serving. The cukes and tomatoes will give off a lot of juices that I like to drain off before serving the salad. You could probably drink the juice and it would be awesome.
Tomorrow: Beets, greens and salsa