As promised yesterday, here are two simply awesome and refreshing summer side dishes that I make (from much constant pressure from family and friends) at least twice a month. The best part....it only requires minutes of easy-peasy preparation. The key is you must use fresh herbs....
Basil Marinated Tomatoes
4 large tomatoes
2/3 cup olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (must be fresh!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (again, yep, must be fresh!)
3 tablespoons chopped onion
Cut tomatoes into wedges and arrange in a large shallow dish. (I use a 9.5 by 11 casserole dish). Set aside.
In a jar or a Tupperware container with a tightly secured top, toss in the next 7 ingredients and shake it vigorously. Pour it over the tomato wedges, cover and chill for several hours.
Yields 8 serving….I very typically just double everything for 16 servings…..
The key to this recipe is the fresh herbs and letting it marinate for at least 3-4 hours in the fridge.
Marinated Cucumber Salad – there is nothing more refreshing than this one!!
7 cups peeled and sliced cucumbers (2 ¼ pounds)
1 large white onion, thinly (thinly!) sliced and separated into rings
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
¾ cup white sugar (do not skimp on the sugar and go less…it is key to this recipe!)
¾ teaspoon celery seeds
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (don’t go dried on me….use fresh!)
Layer cucumber and onion rings in a large bowl. (I use a huge mixing bowl). Combine water and remaining ingredients and pour over the vegetables. Cover and chill AT LEAST two hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Yield: 14 servings