Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Side Dish Recipes --- Easy Peasy!

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 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


Anonymous said...

Okay, this is mouth watering. What do these side dishes typically accompany, i.e., the main dish?

Cindy from central NC said...

Hi Anon,
Something grilled. I'm a vegetarian so I grill veggie burgers (rather, Ed does) but then he grills salmon or chicken. Then, serve with crusy french bread and a simple rotini pasta salad are done and ready to serve a summer dinner party crowd with mins in the kitchen. Enjoy!

Truly Blessed said...

Wonderful - I'm going to try both of these soon (we do a tomato similar to what you do, marinated in balsamic vinegar with shaved parmesan or feta on top, but we've never marinated it for that long).

Keep the easy recipes coming!