You might be wondering what Elvis might have to do with a simple summer salad?
Well, generally nothing at all. Except that after spending a fun-filled day in Savannah with friends from the Photography Club of Beaufort to view the Elvis at 21 exhibit at the Telfair Museum – Jepson Center dinner plans called for a simple summer meal.
The Elvis at 21 photography exhibit was worthwhile. Noted photographer Alfred Wertheimer had unfettered access to Elvis in 1956 when he turned 21. The docent was very informative and mentioned that the quote “Elvis has left the building” was first used after a performance in 1956 in Shreveport, Louisiana to convince fans that he would not be returning to the stage. Since then it has become code in many circumstances for “it’s over!”
After a tour of the exhibit we decided to have lunch at the Jepson Café and Savannah Coffee Roasters (I wrote about Savannah Coffee Roaster’s amazing cappuccino in my Farmer’s Market Meal – Anniversary Dinner post) and before heading home we made a surprise stop at the Marche de Macaron shop for the most decadent sweet treats. These are not your typical macaroons! I purchased eight of these sweet lovelies to share with my husband, Mr. Ed. Who could go wrong with flavors like salted caramel, Meyer lemon (my favorite), Tybee turtle, blackberry lavender and chocolate ganache? Good news! You can order them delivered to your front door. Bad news! They also have a store on Hilton Head Island, SC very close to my home!
Living in close proximity to Savannah is one of the many benefits of a Lowcountry lifestyle. Among other benefits is the abundance of garden fresh vegetables. And gardeners who are willing to share their crop. Especially tomatoes. Earlier in the week, prior to my trip to Savannah, my friend Casey had passed along several tomatoes. With these fresh tomatoes, added to the cucumbers, onion and Garlic Expressions dressing I had on hand, I had the ingredients needed to make the simple summer salad I had in mind.
I first learned to make this salad in 1973 while living in East Lansing, Michigan. My friend Kathy (wife of friend Mark mentioned in the Baby Kissing Weather post) introduced me to this simple salad. Like South Carolina, Michigan gardens produce the most delicious fresh vegies. Since then it has become a staple in my summer salad repertoire.
The recipe is so obvious I feel a little silly giving it to you; however, here goes –
Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Summer Salad in Garlic Expressions Dressing
2 large cucumbers, peeled, cut in half (lengthwise), seeded and sliced (1/4″). Note: I sometimes sprinkle the cucumbers with salt and set aside while I prepare the tomatoes and onions.
2 large tomatoes (beefsteak or other meaty tomato) cut into wedges and then cut again into 1-2″ pieces.
1/2 large red onion (or sweet Vidalia onion) sliced very thin.
1/4 -1/2 cup Garlic Expressions dressing (this is the secret ingredient I use now – previously I had to make a oil/vinegar dressing).
If you’ve salted the cucumbers, rinse before placing in bowl. The cucumbers will have a briny flavor (that I enjoy) and you won’t need any additional salt.
Add tomatoes and onions to bowl. Pour the Garlic Expression dressing over the cucumbers, tomatoes and onions (to taste). Refrigerate for 1/2 or so and there you have it – a simple summer salad!
Note: I marinated a chicken breast in the Garlic Expressions (to maintain the flavor profile), grilled the chicken and voila we had a simple, delicious and healthy summer meal.
Cucumber, onion and tomatoes make a great base for other tasty summer salad ideas. Try out the recipes below that offer a flavor-twist with ingredients like basil, cilantro, quinoa, bacon and chili vinaigrette –
- Cucumber Tomato Salad by Bare Feet in the Kitchen
- Lime Cilantro Cucumber Salad by The Food Charlatan
- Summer Tomato and Cucumber Quinoa Salad by Little Spice Jar
- Bacon Tomato Cucumber Salad by Simple Healthy Home
- Thai Cucumber Salad with Peanut Chili Vinaigrette by With Salt and Wit