Monday, May 6, 2013

Summer Garden Vegetables & Basil Pesto Salad

Summer Garden Vegetables & Pesto Salad

I am extremely  happy to announce that our snow is almost all gone now and it was a beautiful, sunny 65 degrees today - my very favorite air temperature - and there was a slight breeze. It was perfect!

I thought I'd share this recipe with you, which is similar to one I found in an Atkins cookbook that I bought at the local thrift store.

Here's my version - served in the vintage, green Depression glass salad bowl from my mother-in-law. It makes almost anything look prettier.

Warning: Plan to make this salad shortly before you sit down to eat. I put the leftovers in the refrigerator, and the next day, although it had that same great taste, it had become kinda soggy - nothing you'd want to serve anyone else.

The star of the show:  A huge, perfect Beefsteak tomato which our dentist gave me - when I was there for a cleaning - after I reluctantly agreed to have new x-rays taken. I like to think it was a reward - kinda like when a kid gets a sticker - but actually I think he was giving them to all clients who had appointments May 1. Whatever the reason, I was thrilled. This tomato was hydroponically grown not far from where we live. I am going to stop in and see the grower's hydroponic operation one of these days. Anyway, the guy has a ton of huge tomatoes (3.5-4 inches diam.) that are ripe now.  Isn't it gorgeous!

And yes, I did eat a slice before it was put into the salad. Fresh-from-the-garden tomato in the winter! (If you don't believe it was winter, read Saturday's post.)

Summer Garden Vegetables & Pesto Salad, Recipe:

1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
1 large ripe tomato, cut into chunks
3 small English cucumbers, cut into chunks
12-15 Kalamata olives, sliced
1/4 c. basil pesto (I used the pesto I'd made and put in the freezer last fall from the abundance of basil that came from our garden. So it's not another woolly mammoth story, you'll be happy to know. )
Handful of walnuts 

Mix the vegetables. Gently fold in the pesto, being careful to avoid breaking up the vegetables. Sprinkle the walnuts on top. If the stem end of the tomato is pretty, set that on top too. :-)

Hydroponic Beefsteak Tomato
Handpicked from the garden, more or less
I served the salad alongside the main dish, which was simply thin slices of chicken breast sauteed in olive oil and butter - then removed from the skillet - and a whole onion, sliced, sauteed in olive oil. Stir chicken slices back into the skillet with the onion.

It made a really tasty (and pretty) dinner!  

Loved that tomato! So what does your dentist give YOU when you go in for a cleaning???  :-)


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Sandra said...

bob planted beefsteak tomato seeds, he actually bought them this time. they are only about 10 inches tall right now.

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious! As a kid, I remember choosing a toy from the chest for going to the dentist. As an adult, they don't even give me a free toothbrush!!!!!

Denise said...

Sounds yummy.

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Lol! My dentist gives me anxiety when I have to go!

Jenn said...

YAY for summer!! Or at least, YAY for no more snow :) And what a great way to bring in the new season! The salad sounds delicious!!!

Eileen said...

I'm glad your snow melted quickly.
These extremes of temperature are very strange. We are having the hottest day of the year today, phew!

Your dish sounds delicious, and the green dish from MIL is lovely.

Gosh, we don't get gifts from our dentist but he is very nice though, a lovely bedside manner to put you at ease :-)

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

Sounds delicious!! Glad the snow is melting!!

Deanna said...

I love tomatoes and can barely wait for mine to start producing (long way to go, however, since it's been much cooler than usual here in OK). I went to the dentist last week and while my dentist didn't give me anything, my sweet husband had flowers delivered to me at the office. He knew I was feeling anxious about the whole procedure.

Yenta Mary said...

No one appreciates spring, or summer vegetables, like those of us in the north! Nothing looks as beautiful as the vibrant colors of buds and flowers and leaves and grasses after a dreary winter, especially one that brought more snow to you just the other day!

Ellie VanCaster said...

My dentist gives me kleenex to wipe my tears of fear-lol
I would just love me a beautiful tomato as a prize for going there.

Samantha said...

My dentist gives me a bill :)

Chatty Crone said...

Girl that salad looks so delishious I can't even say. I am going to pin this - you are a great cook. sandie

podso said...

I get a toothbrush, full stop, and lots of conversation, checking on family, etc as we have gone there for sooo many years ... the salad looks so yummy. I would think there would be no leftovers!

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I love this recipe and will print it out. I also make pesto and freeze it-it is so good in the winter for pizza or pesto pasta.
Thanks for sharing! We are finally getting some nice weather too and I'm so thankful.
Hugs, Noreen

Debra Hawkins said...

This looks delicious! I love pesto. I might be a little bit obsessed with it!

Terri D. said...

There is must nothing like a home-grown tomato! The recipe sounds yummy, indeed!! Congrats on the great temperature and that the snow is nearly gone! Bring on Spring!

Cynthia said...

Great news that temps are getting better!! Heres to spring. Love pesto, I am a huge fan.


Fairhope Supply Co. said...

I need to forward this to my dentist!

I love hydroponics and think it is so cool to see. I've only seen it in person at EPCOT, but our Piggly Wiggly has hydroponic lettuce grown somewhere around here.

My son and I just planted tomatoes in our garden today. I hope they end up looking like yours!


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