Mr.CBB’s Summer Fresh Tomato Salad with Basil, Fennel and Chick Peas

Mr.CBB's Summer Fresh Tomato Salad

Mr.CBB’s Summer Fresh Tomato Salad with Basil,Fennel and Chick Peas

This easy to make tomato salad is a lovely fresh salad that you can eat any day of the week all year-long. The best time of year though is the summer when these vegetables are in season. The wow factor is when you get to dip chunks of fresh Italian Bread into the juices to soak up all the yummy flavour.

Growing Tomatoes

We start our garden from seed every year with tomatoes and peppers being at the top of our priority list. Growing tomatoes is relatively easy as long as you start the seeds early or buy them at your local garden centre.

Taking care of your tomatoes means stringing them up as they grow so you protect your investment by having them laying all over the ground. If you don’t have a garden, no fear you can easily grow tomatoes in a small space and having juicy tomatoes at your disposal.

This quick recipe is something we have perfected over the past 3 years, especially since salads are part of our daily diet. If you don’t like the full size tomatoes and you would rather make a cherry tomato salad you could easily substitute the tomatoes for the same results.

We wanted to create a tomato salad that was tasty and easy to make but one that also eats like a meal. This frugal salad is just as good as a full meal if not better and costs hardly anything at all to make. You will taste the tangy fresh tomatoes dripping with olive oil burst in your mouth with the aromatic fennel, fresh basil, organic garlic and lemon juice soaked in. If you don’t like chick peas you can opt for green lentils or even black beans and some fresh lime juice.

Mr.CBB's Chicken Cous-Cous

When we make this tomato salad we also enjoy adding feta to make it a feta tomato salad instead of the mozzarella. Pair this tomato salad up with a simple chicken and spring onion cous-cous and you have a match made in heaven.

Tomatoes and cous-cous go together so nicely that it’s a staple in our house year round. If you want a quick, healthy meal, making meals with cous-cous will take some of the time pressure off of you in the kitchen as well.

You can easily add the cous-cous with the tomatoes and it will become a lovely cous-cous salad that you can eat as a meal. We picked up all the ingredients at the grocery store except for the organic garlic and the fresh basil which are home-grown.

How To Make Cous-Cous?

When I make cous-cous I typically add one cup of cous-cous to one cup of boiling water that is flavoured with chicken cubes. If you have chicken stock or beef stock you can easily warm that up on the stove-top if it’s not hot and use that as your liquid.

I chop up a few spring onions and mix that in the bowl. Cover your cous-cous as soon as you pour the hot liquid on top and give it a stir. Let stand 10 minutes, then take the cover off and fluff with a fork. It’s really that easy… I know you’re wondering what took you so long to try it out!

 

fennel and red onion

What is Anise-Fennel?

If you were wondering if fennel and anise are the same thing, yes they are. Not many people know how to use aromatic fennel or anise also sometimes called finocchio which is commonly used in the Mediterranean. Our family grows this beautiful fennel in their garden and it is bountiful each year. The anise flavour is similar to a licorice but the vegetable is not as pungent as you think. I like to compare the texture to a celery but the fennel is much crispier.

There are many anise recipes on the internet but keeping it simple and using it in salads is how we enjoy using it in our kitchen. You can also roast fennel in the oven or on the barbecue and release the sweetness which we simply love. We also use the green leaves of the fennel in minestrone and soups which lends a distinct yet appetizing flavour.

Medicinal Uses Finocchio

Finocchio has many medicinal factors as well and is widely used by many for:

  • Intestinal Tract
  • Eyes
  • Blood and Urine
  • Breast Milk
  • Syrup prepared for coughs
Fennel Seeds

You may also find fennel seeds in some of your favourite foods.

Mr.CBB's Fresh Basil Garlic Cubes

Fresh Basil Growing in our back yard

Tomato Salad
Ingredients
  • 4 Med Tomatoes cut in wedges
  • 1 cup chick peas (I use dry, soak overnight, then boil for 15 minutes)
  • half a bulb fennel sliced thin
  • 1/2 green pepper cut into small pieces (optional)
  • 1/2 cup red onion minced
  • salt  to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup
  • juice of one entire fresh  or lime Tip-roll on counter then cut in half
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 fresh mozzarella ball cut in half then cubed (feta-optional)
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil chopped (10-15 leaves)
  • Chicken Spring Onion Cous-Cous (optional)

I enjoy working with fresh ingredients and prefer to make my food homemade and if I can from scratch. I hope you give this tomato salad recipe a try for your next barbecue or pot-luck dinner with your friends and family. I promise you the bowl will be empty by the end of the meal.

If you enjoyed this summer fresh tomato salad then check out some of the other frugal, yet amazingly easy recipes I have on the blog.

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Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Looks delicious and pretty inexpensive! Nice to meet your blog!

    • Well hello, Nurse Frugal, nice to meet your blog as well! ;-) Yes the salad is very inexpensive and super healthy. Give it a try and let me know what you think. If you are ever up for a guest post would love to hear what your frugal life is all about and share it with my fans! Mr.CBB

  2. That salad looks wonderful!

  3. That looks yummy, healthy and fairly inexpensive to make! Going to have to try it soon!

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  15. [...] have around 20 tomatoes in our kitchen ready to eat along with the bunch we bought. Needless to say Mr.CBB’s Tomato Salad will be on the menu all week-long. Our green peppers are ready to go as well which only means [...]

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  18. […] can also serve the tortilla with a tuna pasta salad, cucumber radish salad with fresh mint, tomato chick pea salad or a mixed green and spring vegetable tossed salad with a lemon, olive oil, garlic vinaigrette and a […]

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  21. […] are so easy to make (here’s a recipe for a quick tomato salad) and cost a fortune pre-made but clearly there is a market for them. Just look at grocery stores […]

  22. […] with a nice garlic, ginger, lime, sesame fried rice and roasted fennel like we did. We roasted the fennel in the oven with a bit of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover for 20 minutes then uncover to […]

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