SUMMER FRESH SALADS ARE ALL YOU NEED AT YOUR NEXT DINNER PARTY
This easy to make summer fresh tomato salad is a flavour-packed salad that you can eat any day of the week all year-long. The best time of year though is during the summer when organic tomatoes are in season. The wow factor is dipping chunks of fresh crusty Italian Bread into the juices to soak up all the yummy flavour.
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.
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!
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
- Blood and Urine
- Breast Milk
- Syrup prepared for coughs
You may also find fennel seeds in some of your favourite foods.
- Breads or breadsticks
Fresh Basil Growing in our back yard
How to make summer fresh tomato salad
- 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.
Please share this recipe with your friends if you think they might like it and please leave a review and tell me what you think. You can also pin the recipe on Pinterest and share on just about every social media outlet. Big Thanks.
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