Salad Shirazi

Salad Shirazi is a classic Persian salad. Fresh vegetables, mint and lime. Perfect for when garden tomatoes are plentiful.

The tomatoes share center stage with cucumbers, but you can’t beat the tomatoes for colorful lushness.

The result is a light, refreshing salad. Enjoy!

Salad Shirazi

2 medium cucumbers, diced (~2 cups) (from the garden)

2 large tomatoes, diced (~2 cups) (from the garden)

1/2 onion, diced

2 Tbsp dried mint

Juice of 1 lime

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


Mix the vegetable is a bowl.

Sprinkle the mint on top by rubbing it between your hands over the bowl. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Cold Cucumber Salad

One of the treats we get in our CSA basket is locally grown english cucumbers.

I loved pickles and pickling things, so I decided to try a riff on Trisha Yearwood’s cucumber salad.

As usual, the pickling liquid cooked up really fast, but it also created a great design in the pot. Check it out – look at that inner circle, it’s perfect.

I tasted it a couple of hours after I put it in the fridge, it was ok.  It really does need the overnight to really pickle. It was great the next day! Refreshing and light with just the right amount of ‘pickle’!

Cold Cucumber Salad

Adapted from Trisha Yearwood

2/3 cup white vinegar
1 cups sugar
2/3 teaspoon dill seeds
3 oz vegetable oil
1 english cucumber, sliced (locally grown)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced in rings
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced


Place the cucumbers, onion and bell pepper in a large bowl.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the vinegar, sugar, dill seeds, vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool, about 20 minutes.

Toss the vegetables with the liquid mixture.

Refrigerate overnight.

Serve cold and enjoy!

Serves 4

Categories: Cucumber, Recipe | 3 Comments

Andalusian Gazpacho & Catalan Vegetable Paella

Tonight’s dinner brought me back to my trip with my daughters to Barcelona last November.  Or, should I say, MAKING tonight’s dinner brought me back to our cooking class in Barcelona. I even used the recipe for gazpacho that Emily made that night.


But tonight we served it in glasses.

As our main meal I made a vegetable paella…

Both dishes were full of beautiful vegetables and herbs from my garden.

Memories of Spain… garden vegetables… a satisfying vegetarian dinner… happiness.

Andalusian Gazpacho

from Barcelona Cooking

6 tomatoes (from the garden)

1/2 cucumber (from the garden)

1 garlic clove

1 small jalapeno pepper (from the garden)

1/2 red pepper

300 ml water

2 Tbsp sherry vinegar

1 slice bread (or 1 small homemade roll)

2 Tbsp olive oil


Grate the tomatoes and cut up all the vegetables.

Set aside a little  (1 – 2 ounces) of the cucumber, green pepper and red pepper and dice them very finely to garnish the gazpacho.

Soak the bread in the water and vinegar.

In a bowl, mix all the vegetables together and pour the soaked bread in and blend while adding olive oil to emulsify.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Serves 4

Catalan Vegetable Paella

from Perla Meyers

tablespoons olive oil1 small fresh green chili pepper, finely minced (from the garden)

1 large Bermuda onion, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced

1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced

1 ½ teaspoon imported paprika

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (from the garden)

1 medium-sized zucchini, trimmed and cubed (from the garden)

4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (from the garden)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 ¼ cups arborio rice

2 cups chicken stock or bouillon

Finely minced fresh parsley for garnish (from the garden)


In a large deep, 12-inch iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chili pepper, onion and bell peppers, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the onion is lightly browned.

Add the garlic, paprika, thyme, zucchini and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the rice and chicken stock or bouillon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Taste and correct the seasoning. Garnish with finely minced parsley.

Serve the paella hot as an accompaniment to roasted or grilled meats or as a light Sunday supper, directly from the skillet, accompanied by a well-seasoned green salad. The paella can also be served at room temperature, doused with fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of fruity olive oil.

Serves 4 – 6



Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Soup, Tomatoes, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 1 Comment

Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Midsummer + garden = tomato cucumber salads = heaven!

This one got the added benefit of baby red onions from the garden as well.

The onions were added as part of a greek feta dressing.

This salad makes a great side dish for a light summer dinner, such as with the zucchini kuku below.


Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Inspired by Michael Symon’s Greek Feta and Cucumber Salad

2 cups cucumbers, cut into small cubes (from the garden)

1 large heirloom tomato, cut into small cubes (from the garden)


1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (from the garden)

1 clove garlic, minced

2 baby red onions, diced

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil


Toss together the cucumbers, tomatoes and a large pinch of salt in a mesh strainer set over a bowl or the sink.

Combine the feta, oregano, garlic and onions in a separate bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk in the olive oil.

Drain off and discard any water that has released from the cucumbers and tomatoes. Toss together with the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4


Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Korean-style Cucumber Salad

While cucumbers are plentiful in my garden we enjoy refreshing cucumber salads  (my son just eats the cukes straight up). I was making Korean grilled chicken skewers for dinner, so of course we needed a Korean-style cucumber salad.

By the way, the dakkochi (skewered chicken) was delicious.  Click here for the recipe from Closetcooking.  I made mine under the broiler in the oven, but other than that, I used their recipe. It is a keeper!

Korean-style Cucumber Salad

adapted from

1 1/2 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced (from the garden)

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp sesame seeds

2 green onions, chopped (from the garden)


Place the cucumbers in a bowl.

Mix soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.  Add to the cucumber and toss. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss again.

Add the green onions, mix and serve. Enjoy!

Serves 2

Note:  for a crunchier salad, serve immediately.  If you want the cucumbers to absorb more of the dressing flavor, let sit 10-15 minutes.



Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Lentils With Cucumbers, Chard, And Poached Egg

I wasn’t feeling well today; I spent much of it asleep. My stomach had been unsettled for a few days, but today food was not appealing to me and I was dizzy.  So my plans for our dinner needed to change. I decided eggs would be good for me, and for some reason I was also craving greens. Luckily, I had recently harvested some swiss chard from my garden.

And, I happened to have a recipe from for poached eggs with swiss chard from Bon Apetit magazine that I could work from. It was a really interesting recipe, each piece of the dish was separately flavored and spiced – swiss chard with garlic, lentils with lemon and scallions, and cucumbers with za’atar. When put together, the the egg helped bring the flavors together; it worked far better than I imagined they would.

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

4 – 8 large eggs, depending on whether each person wants 1 or 2 eggs (locally raised)

2 cups cooked green lentils (from about 1 cup uncooked)

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon za’atar, plus more for serving

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 bunch large Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 2” pieces (from the garden)

1 garlic clove finely grated (from the garden)


Combine lentils, scallions, lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Toss cucumbers with 1 Tbsp. za’atar and remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Bring about 2” water to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer and add vinegar. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then gently slide it into water. Repeat with remaining eggs, waiting until whites are starting to set before adding the next one (about 30 seconds apart). After about 3 minutes, whites should be set and yolks still runny. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels as they are done.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add Swiss chard by the handful, tossing and letting it cook down a bit before adding more, and cook until tender; season with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic, if using, and set aside.

Divide lentils among bowls and top each with some chard, cucumbers, and 1 or 2 poached eggs. Sprinkle with more za’atar. Serve and enjoy!
Serves 4.

Categories: Breakfast, Cucumber, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Swiss Chard, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Garden Bounty Israeli Couscous Salad

I love Israeli couscous, the texture is so much fun! I couldn’t wait to mix in the veggies from my garden to create a salad.


I went a little overboard though.  I had just harvested some carrots and decided to include those as well.


But they were just a bit too crunchy, the texture did not complement the rest of the salad.  I thought the crunch would be good, but it was not so pleasant.  So, I have not included the carrots in the final recipe.

What I did add that were positives, were the corn and the feta.  Oh, those were good!  IMG_0670

Lesson learned – play with your salads.  Some things will work, some won’t, but you won’t know till you try.

Garden Bounty Israeli Couscous Salad 

Adapted from Margaret Rose Shulman’s Cucumber and Israeli Couscous Salad

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil1 cup Israeli couscous6 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste

1/2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from the garden)

½ pound ripe tomatoes, very finely chopped (from the garden)

¾ pound cucumbers, seeded and cut in fine dice (from the garden)

1 bunch scallions, finely chopped

kernels from 2 ears of steamed corn (from Ficner Farms)

Salt to taste

3 oz crumbled feta cheese

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan and add the couscous. Stir until the couscous begins to color and smell toasty, 4 to 5 minutes.IMG_0661Add 2 cups water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. Drain if any liquid remains in the pan.

Mix together all the vegetable in a large bowl.


Transfer the couscous to the bowl and toss with the lemon juice, parsley and salt to taste. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings.


Add the feta cheese and toss. Serve and enjoy!


Serves 6 – 8 as a side salad.

Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Corn Gazpacho

It’s hot, I don’t want to cook, I don’t want a salad, but I have a lot of veggies on hand, even some fresh corn from a local farmer. So I pull out my blender and throw it all in…


The color doesn’t look so pretty, but the taste makes up for it.  A refreshing lunch…


Corn Gazpacho

2 cups corn kernels, cooked (about 1 1/2 – 2 ears) (from Ficner’s Farm)

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 large cucumber, diced (from the garden)

1/2 orange or red pepper, chopped

juice of 2 limes

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (from the garden)

1 cup tomato juice


Put all the ingredients in the blender and puree.

Serve chilled topped with some cooked corn kernels.


Serves 4.


Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Recipe, Soup, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment


There is a middle eastern restaurant near my daughter’s university…Ali Baba in Newark, DE. It is one of my favorite places to eat. They have many delicious dishes, but somehow, whenever I go there I have to order the fattoush.  Fattoush is a middle eastern bread salad, and I think I am addicted to it.


I am not sure if I have mentioned it, but this has not been a great summer for my tomatoes.  Good ones have been few and far betwen, but I finally have a few good ones on the counter.


I also happened to have some pita bread and one last cucumber from our garden. Time for me to do my own riff on fattoush!


I had a lot of lima beans in the fridge that needed to be used.  I realized that roasted lima beans would go wonderfully on top of the salad.


I used a “dressing” similar to one I use for a Persian tomato-cucumber salad, toasted pita and roasted lima beans – a fattoush with my own twist. And it was both yummy and satisfying.  I am quite proud of this one!



2 large tomatoes, chopped (from the garden)

1 large green pepper, chopped

1 or 2 cucumbers, sliced and/or chopped (from both mine and a friend’s gardens)

2 or 3 green onions, sliced

2 pitas, toasted

1 tsp dried mint

Juice of 1 lemon

Roasted lima beans



Mix the tomatoes, green pepper, cucumbers and green onions in a bowl.


Toss with the mint.

IMG_7789.JPG Break of the pitas into bite-sized pieces and add to the salad. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top and toss.


Divide the salad among the serving plates and top with roasted lima beans.  Enjoy!


Serves 3.

Note:  if you do not use the lima beans, you will need to add salt and parsley to the salad.


Categories: Cucumber, Green Peppers, Kosher, Lima Beans, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 5 Comments

Cool Cucumber Salad – Kid Friendly

The cucumbers are coming in almost faster than we can eat them, which is shocking since everyone in the house loves cucumbers.


The most frustrating thing for me is that cucumbers like to hide in the garden.  No matter how diligent I think I am in searching for cucumbers, I always end up with a few that are fatter than I like to use in a cucumber/tomato salad.  These cucumbers are great for a light, fresh pickled salad – the Cool Cucumber Salad from Better Than Peanut Butter & Jelly by Marty Mattare.  It is a vegetarian cookbook aimed at foods for kids, and I have to say that when my son tasted this, he immediately asked for more.


So, tonight my son had some with his fish sticks and ever-present grape tomatoes (from the garden).


We had some with our Eggplant and Tomato Stew.


It is about as simple a dish as you can make…

Cool Cucumber Salad

from Better Than Peanut Butter & Jelly by Marty Mattare

for each large, peeled and thinly sliced cucumber:

4 tsp vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

dash of freshly ground black pepper


Mix together all ingredients.


Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.  Enjoy!


Serves 2 per cucumber.



Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

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