Richard’s Salad

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Ever since my kid could crawl around in the yard we’ve planted a vegetable garden. He is a little less available now, but still managed to devote a Saturday morning to planting his peppers and cucumbers and helping me with the rest of the stuff – especially herbs. We both love to experiment with crazy flavor combinations. The peppers aren’t quite ready, but oh my heavens the cucumbers have gone crazy. We’ve given some away, and made a few new recipes, but this is the perfect time of year make Richard’s Salad. It’s so light and refreshing you could eat it every day and still crave it. 

The recipe is simple – it’s sliced cucumbers and onions with rice wine vinegar (really makes it pop) salt, sugar, red pepper flakes, and herbs. As soon as I can beat a squirrel to a ripe tomato (good luck required) that will be another addition to this mix. Now the fun part is the herbs. As the season progresses we change it up according to what’s available. Cilantro was an early choice – it’s as dead as can be by July – but in early June it’s marvelous. 

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Dill came after that and then, lately, the combo of dill and tarragon. So, you are probably saying is this really a recipe or just a fact-finding tour through the garden?  Well, it’s a little bit of both, but in Tennessee, enjoying the versatility of what the garden presents is probably the least stressful way to approach summer cooking. Actually, this is a very nice salad any time of year and it gets frequent requests at our house in the dead of winter. The grocery has all variety of herbs, the cucumbers are fancier – sometimes seedless, and you just have to make a decision on whether an inferior off-season tomato is worth it. This is Richard’s Salad not only because it’s his favorite, but also, he is the designated chef. That’s good and bad – good for me because someone else is doing some cooking and bad because his measuring tools are his taste buds. We made this together last night and I tried to get a handle on measuring ingredients, but you’ll just have to trust me – and your taste buds! 

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You will love this whether you have a back yard full of cucumbers, stop at the produce stand, or visit the grocery. It’s wonderful and so easy. Enjoy!

Richard was my guest photographer – all credit goes to his way.

Tune in this Friday for Talk of the Town at 11:00 on Newschannel 5. We will be making a couple of versions of no mess foil dinners suitable for the oven or grill and sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

Richard’s Salad

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1 to 2 cucumbers, sliced (about 2 cups)

1 onion, halved and sliced thinly

½ cup rice wine vinegar

1-2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Fresh herb(s) of choice –  about 1 -2 Tbsp chopped (good choices are cilantro, dill, tarragon, and mint)

Optional – chopped tomato


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Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to thoroughly incorporate. (Richard likes to put all the ingredients in a sealed plastic container and just shake it up.)

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Chill for an hour and serve.

Leftovers are great – sort of like a refrigerator pickle it just gets better!

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