Over the weekend I decided to make this wonderful and very simple salad using the fresh ingredients from my vegetable garden.
I absolutely love having a vegetable garden! There is something so satisfying about growing your own vegetables and herbs. Some of the vegetables and herbs that I have had the most success with are lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, basil, cilantro, thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary (my plant is massive right now), and parsley. I try to plant things that I use on a weekly basis and for the most part all of these are. Some of the things I haven’t had as much success with are melons, cucumbers, and peppers. I’m really bummed out about the cucumbers because I love eating them. Currently my tomatoes and basil are in full bloom and producing like crazy! I pick close to 20 cherry tomatoes off of my four plants daily. Needless to say I’ve been using them in any way I can such as, in frittatas, my Black Bean and Corn Salsa Salad, making salsa with them, and over the weekend came up with this simple and flavorful tomato basil salad.
To make this salad I used the cherry tomatoes, basil, and oregano from my garden. I then added a can of cannellini beans into the mix and dressed it in a basil vinagarette. I simply used the ingredients I had on hand, but you could easily add many other things to this salad. Some of the additions I thought would be nice are shaved parmesan cheese or little bocconcini (little mozerella balls), pasta, or some pine nuts.
While I often enjoy making elaborate meals, sometimes I find that the simplest ones produce the best results. It’s even more satisfying to me when I grew the vegetables, herbs, or fruit and can use them in my cooking or baking. Do you have a garden or have you ever thought about having one? If you do have one what do you grow in it and what do you have the most and least success with?
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 T. fresh basil, chopped
- 1 T. fresh oregano, chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 1 1/2 T. olive oil
- 1 1/2 T. honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
To Make the Salad
- In a medium sized bowl add the tomatoes, beans, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Toss everything gently together.
To Make the Basil Vinaigrette
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the salad (I only used half the dressing and saved the rest for other uses) and gently fold everything together. Serve immediately or refrigerate until you are ready to serve. I found that the flavor of the basil intensifies and the flavors come together more as it rests in the fridge. This salad is also just as good the next day.
This salad makes a nice light lunch or side dish. To make it a more complete meal try adding pasta to it.
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