My Mom is the queen of making salads out of anything and everything. There is no raw vegetable she doesn’t like. She draws her salad inspiration from whatever is in the fridge, and she can never have too much variety in her salads. My husband sometimes calls them “everything but the kitchen sink” salads. While Mom’s out of town, it has fallen to me to make sure we have salads on the table regularly. And I ‘m going to call this salad “Summer’s Bounty” because it just sounds a bit more respectful toward the vegetables and it’s fitting for this colorful salad made mostly with greens and in-season veggies fresh from with farmers’ market. What do you encounter often at a summertime farmers’ market? Tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, greens and herbs – check, check, check and check!
I also dug through the fridge to see what else I could add to this combination, and pulled out some dill pickles and hearts of palm – why not?!! Last time I made this salad, I also sliced up an avocado, but this time I didn’t have one.
So, the ingredients for a Summer’s Bounty salad for two people are:
1 medium tomato
1 medium cucumber
1 dill pickle
2-3 red radishes
1 green onion (you can slice up a white or red onion, if that’s what you have on hand)
1 heart of palm
A handful of greens – whatever you have available – arugula, spinach, mixed salad greens, etc.
For the dressing: 2 tablespoons of sour cream, a tablespoon or fresh chopped dill, salt and pepper to taste.
First, slice all of the vegetables relatively thinly so that you can get a few in each bite. Since radishes sometimes are a little on the bitter side, I like to slice them VERY thinly using a potato peeler.
Combine all the sliced veggies in a bowl, season with salt, pepper, dill.
Now, add the sour cream and give it all a good mix with a spoon or spatula. Now add the handful of greens and give another gentle mixing. If the sour cream seems a bit thick, don’t worry! Let it sit for a minute and after the tomatoes and other veggies let out some of their juices, give it another mixing, and it will be easier and more liquefied.
The sour cream and dill combination gives this salad a more substantial, but refreshingly cool and tangy flavor that you won’t get just out of a regular salad dressing. Plus sour-cream is a very “Russian” ingredient to use and Russians use it to dress all kinds of salads and recipes. If you’re worried about calories, use low-fat sour cream.
Another very “Russian” alternative is to dress this salad with unrefined sunflower oil (unrefined has a lot more flavor) and a bit of apple cider vinegar. My husband decided he prefers the sour cream dressing but I like both equally.
That’s it! The list of veggies above is not exclusive. Do you have bell peppers, olives, avocados at home? Slice them up and throw them in! When it comes to raw veggies – the more, the merrier!!
P.S. hubby is not a huge fan of radishes, and while eating this salad (which he enjoyed), asked me what health benefits radishes have. Which, if you don’t like the taste of something, is a good question to ask – is it good for me and should I continue to eat it despite my dislike? So, if you’re wondering the same thing, here is some info about the nutritional qualities of radishes I dug up on the interwebs, and I have to say, I was impressed:
Good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Folate and Potassium.