Farmer’s Market Finds: Simple Summer Salad

I love tomatoes.  My goal has always been to grow tomatoes as tasty as my grandfather did.  That may never happen.  But, the tomatoes at my local farmer’s market have been keeping me happy for the last 10 years.  Thank you guys!

And, when the vegetables are this fresh and tasty, they really need little to make them absolutely awesome.  You know all those Italian and French salad recipes, that tell you to simply toss the vegetables with your best olive oil, best red wine vinegar, and a little salt and pepper?  And you sit back and think, there must be more than this.  But, there’s not.  Well, this is one of those recipes.  If you are lucky enough to have the time and were withal to actually visit your local farmer’s market, grow your own veggies, or have a friend who shares, then you might like this.  

Farm fresh veggies, and the avocado

Farm fresh veggies, and the avocado

Except, there really isn’t a recipe, but a guideline of sorts, kind of like those old recipes where they tell you dress the salad with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Enjoy!

So, now that most of the leftovers are gone, it’s time to eat up the rest of the produce I scored at the Farmer’s Market last Saturday.  For all those people who don’t like lettuce salads, this one is for you.  This is actually more in line with a “composed” salad, or salad nicoise, except I was too hungry to actually arrange everything, and tossed the veggies and dressing (and then the cheese and salmon) before taking the first photo.  I actually avoid lettuce in the summer, as it is usually bitter.  Although, I have been getting a lot of cravings for baby arugula, which is still pretty good all year long; I’m pretty sure it’s not grown out in the sun.  And, of course, we always have a large box of spinach on hand to satisfy the little one.

 These are the same types tomatoes that were in the Marinated Tomato Salad from the other day, and I used the leftover dressing I had made for that. 


Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (I had Meyer in the freezer)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground


Mix together and let sit for a while before using.


After a light toss, before really mixing it up....

After a light toss, before really mixing it up….

For the salad:

  • ½ small zucchini (mine was the golden one), sliced into thin coins
  • ½ avocado, in small chunks
  • However many tomatoes you think you can eat!
  • Few pieces of a sweet summer red pepper, diced
  • 2 ½ ounces canned salmon
  • 2 tablespoons soft feta


Toss salad together, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette (or your favorite store bought).  I mixed it all up and it was delicious!  The feta I used here, and on the Zucchini salad the other day, is actually a French sheep feta, which is very soft and crumbly and not salty or overpowering, more like a dry goat cheese.  Really good!  

After adding the salmon...

After adding the salmon…

And, here is one of my secrets:  I usually don’t make my own vinaigrette.  Not because I can’t, but because I have found 2 vinaigrette’s that are pretty darn near perfect for just about any salad, winter or summer.  One is made here in New Orleans, and the other can be found at Whole Foods (nationwide) and any other good grocery.  The New Orleans one can be found here:  I’m not sure how far and wide it is distributed; but, it is one of my 2 favorite dressings (the other being Cousin’s Creole Tomato Dressing, otherwise known as the “crack” dressing).  The other french vinaigrette one is the Brianna’s brand regular vinaigrette, and can be found here:

Almost done...delicious!

Almost done…delicious!

(Oh yeah, I think I got all my omega’s in today.)

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