Last Tuesday I hit the Ypsi Farmers’ Market and came away with, not surprisingly, too many vegetables. There were bright red tomatoes, small .25¢ cucumbers (and “lemon cucumbers” hmmm…), a basket of tiny and organic red peppers, perky red onions, and because I was not following proper etiquette and failed to bring small bills, there was also a lovely purple eggplant that ended up in my bag when the poor farmer didn’t have change (my fault, so I bought more!). I was like a kid in a candy store, I tell ya’. Or perhaps that old adage would be more aptly put to use as “foodie in a farmers’ market”. Yep. That was me.
Then, because all that veg was at its perfect state of maturity, I realized I better make something stat (the pressure!). So, what follows is not much of a recipe, but requires the vegetables to be almost utterly perfect, preferably local. Because there are so few ingredients, the freshness really shines. There’s really no need for much adornment or seasoning here. Just some chopping, into large chunks is easiest, and bit of dolloping (of sour cream for me–what can I say? I’m Polish.)
- 4 small cucumbers, peeled and sliced
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, wedged
- 1 tsp. cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. chopped mint and basil
- 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
Prepare the cucumbers first by peeling and slicing them. Place them in a colander with a little salt (1/4 tsp. perhaps) and mix. This will allow the water to drain a bit from the cucumber and keep your salad drier if you intend to serve it later or have leftovers. Once the tomatoes and herbs are chopped, add to a large bowl. Mix in the vinegar and season with coarse salt and black pepper, to taste. If mixing in sour cream, do so upon serving.
I enjoyed this easy side dish for lunch with a quesadilla that was inspired by the same overload of quickly ripening vegetables on my countertop. Stir fry a few very thin slices of Vidalia onion and small bell pepper (1/2 if using large) for about 5 minutes or until veggies are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and add 1 tortilla brushed with water (to keep it crisp). Add back veggies and desired amount of shredded white cheddar (I use about 1/3 cup). Add a couple of slices of seeded fresh tomato and herbs if you like. Fold. Sauté until cheese melts and both sides are brown. Add sour cream if desired.
In a completely unrelated manner, I’d like to give a quick shout-out to the sweet and talented Kasia of Love in the City of Lights. Her blog charmed me last fall and I became a regular follower of her ex-pat adventures in Paris, after which I fortuitously won a giveaway. The question was “What are your three favorite cities in the world?” to which I replied without hesitation “Paris, New Orleans and Chicago”. I love talking about places! Kasia, who makes gorgeous handbags, was so kind as to make me one with my three chosen cities. We met in Paris for the exchange over a lovely glass of wine. Her life is one to be envied indeed (what with Paris and the Italian husband and all!) And I L O V E my tote. It’s so stylish and very well made. Merci Kasia! (Click the link to see her bags–they really are très cool!).
Don’t ya’ just love Paris?