Phew, I don’t know about you, but that was an incredibly busy summer for me. It did not include as much knitting as I would have liked, but when it is so hot here that the yarn doesn’t slide through my sweaty palms, it’s hard to want to knit. So, I figured I would share something a little different instead.
This was the first year that I had ever tried to grow anything. I was convinced that I had a black thumb after many dead succulents, but my garden is proof that anyone can grow food. Basically, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to reduce food waste by growing more of what we eat, which is a huge challenge for someone convinced they have a black thumb. There is a ton of information about the gas used to get food to the store. And what I found out was that they had it right during WWII. Everyone should try to grow some sort of a victory garden (even just herbs on a window sill) to combat the climate crisis. So, I decided to buy some seed packets and try my hand at growing.
Everyone should try to grow some sort of victory garden (even just herbs on a window sill) to combat the climate crisis.
I started with a ton of seeds (way too many tbh, but I figured my black thumb would kill a lot… I was right). These seeds were mostly peppers and tomatoes, which I had some struggles with. Many of these bb’s were stunted, because I didn’t transplant them at an appropriate time. Lessons were learned, and I will do better next year, right?
Once the weather warmed up and I knew summer was around the corner, I planted some yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. Between these and the six cherry tomato plants (yeah, I should have planted a variety), I have had an overabundance of these easy-to-grow vegetables. Much of this food has been eaten right off the vine by myself or Matt. Some of it was also given to our guinea pigs, but we started to have a pile of produce on the counter. Due to the heat and our broken heat pump, we have only been eating cold foods and things that can be cooked on a grill. Maybe you can see where this post is going.
I wanted to share my favorite summer salad using mostly ingredients that were easily grown in my garden (zone 7). Seriously, even with my track record of killing EVERY. SINGLE. SUCCULENT. EVER., I was able to grow these veggies and give plenty of the produce away. So without further ado, here is Katie’s Favorite Summer Salad:
So, there are two best parts of this salad in my opinion. I was able to grow everything except for the red onion and the dressing components. The second best part is that the ratio of ingredients does not matter. I literally just use whatever I have on hand that day. This means that sometimes I throw in things that are not on this list. Have fun with it.
The ratio of ingredients does not matter. I literally just use whatever I have on hand that day.
I just chop up all the veggies and put them in a big bowl. I like to chop them each differently, so the salad isn’t too homogeneous. My preference is to quarter and chop the zucchini and yellow squash, shred the onion, and slice the cucumber with a mandolin slicer. We grew mostly cherry tomatoes, so I just throw those in whole.
In a jar with a lid, I eyeball about a cup of oil, ¾ cup of vinegar (I like apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar), and 2-3 tbsp of mustard, tighten the lid to shake them together. They will separate and that is totally fine, just shake the jar again. Then, I rough chop some fresh picked basil to throw in with a pinch of salt. Mix again, and then pour over the salad and toss.
If you make this salad, please tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see all of your healthy summer salads. Let me know if you make any changes that you think I should try (scallions, mushrooms, or corn would be BOMB in this salad imo).