In the Garden: 2 Summer Salads

Since I got a bit sidetracked from my plan to buy lumber and build a chicken run over the long weekend, I decided to spend a little time on some other long-neglected work around the house. Or, rather, in the garden.


Remember when it used to look like this three months ago?


It’s a bit of a jungle and it needed some major weeding, tending, and harvesting.


Most of my tomatoes are cherry or black krim, and unfortunately all of the plants in the garden have caught some kind of blight (I hear it’s making the rounds up here, and these heirloom versions are less resistant than others.)

I picked as much as I could to let it ripen in the house…


There certainly isn’t a lack of produce in the house right now…


The peppers, kale, eggplants, and cukes are still going strong, and one of the best things about this time of year is ALL OF THE FOOD. I’ve been mixing things up into a few different salads (doesn’t hurt to be dating a guy who owns a restaurant and has a lot of good ideas regarding farm-fresh produce) here are a few ways I’ve been eating the harvest…

Kale Salad


I learned that trick to making kale awesome is to massage it with olive oil and salt. (No joke, it works… the kale becomes much less bitter and tough.)

For this salad I added in green pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a little garlic from the garden, along with sunflower seeds and some Parmesan cheese from my fridge.

The dressing was something we whipped up that had salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes in it. I have no notes on quantities, but I think the rule is “toss as much of those ingredients as you want in the bowl and mix everything up.” I’ll be delicious.

Cucumber & Chickpea Salad


This is actually one of my own staple recipes, probably because it just combines ingredients I typically have on hand. Here’s what I usually use:

  • 1 cucumber (fresh from the garden)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup or so of cottage cheese (or sometimes a few tablespoons of hummus instead)
  • chives (also fresh from the garden)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried dill to taste

Just dump everything in a bowl and mix it together. Sometimes I add sunflower seeds. Usually I end up eating the whole bowl (which is crazy, this makes a really, really large bowl.)

10 Responses

  1. Tomato blight seems to be a big problem this year everywhere. Here in MN almost everyone I know with a garden as had issues with blight or just poor tomato production. I may have to *gasp* but a case of tomatoes from the local food co-op in order to make salsa and pasta sauce this year.

  2. Missed blight here in CT, but the super cooler than normal temps have stunted plant growth a lot! Too funny about quantity of ingredients! Our Italian family is like that,too – makes it difficult to tell someone how to make something!

  3. Sorry about the blight, dude. Advice that you didn’t ask for? Next year steer clear of the heirlooms and mulch in with a thick layer of cocoa mulch (smells amazing and breaks down so well for the next season) or a super-thick layer of straw. Maters love straw. So do slugs, though, so keep your other leafy edibles in a bed that isn’t right next door.
    Lookin’ good, though!

    1. Awesome advice! (My mom was kind of on an all-natural-organic-heirloom kick when she started all of these in spring, but it’s a good lesson that some of the newer varieties that are disease resistant are a better bet.)

  4. Thanks for sharing these recipes. Really good – and really good to have something special to share with my guests..

  5. Ohh your garden is so great that I have turned envious shade of green. I live in apartment and I have a Hydroponic herb garden. I am afraid to call it one after seeing yours. Keep up the good work and keep those photos coming

  6. I finally got around to trying one of your salad recipes! I made the chickpea cucumber one and it took me so long because it required a trip to the store. Chickpeas aren’t something I normally have around because I didn’t have anything to really do with them. But now I do! That recipe? It. is. DELICIOUS! Love it! It’s my new favorite lunch. 🙂

Comments are closed.

I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.