Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cucumber, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Many of the traditional New Orleans dishes that I prepare for Mardi Gras are spicy, seasoned with hot peppers, cayenne pepper, cumin and lots of garlic. My cucumber salad will cool the palate and is a wonderful complement to a spicy Gumbo.
Cucumber, tomato salad on a bed of field greens and Spinach

I also prepare this salad or a variation of it all summer long when the vegetables are fresh out of the garden and so delicious!

I usually serve the Mardi Gras salad and cool cucumber salad when I have a large group for dinner, your guests will be coming back for more so make sure you make enough for the whole gang. My menu for the annual Mardi Gras feast is coming together. Cheers!

Cool Cucumber, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

• Ingredients:

• 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half or your favorite tomato slice into bite size
– You can use any type of tomato, sliced into bite size pieces
• 1 cucumber sliced into bite size pieces
• 1/4 lb mozzarella cheese cut into bite size pieces
• Jazz it up with
– 1 6 oz jar of Artichoke hearts with juices
– 1 6oz can of sliced Black olives, drained
• If you have a can of whole black or green olives slice about 12 olives in half and use
Optional: Arugula, field greens and/or fresh spinach

• Dressing:
• ¼ cup fresh basil chopped (If fresh basil is hard to find this time of year 1 tablespoon of dried basil works fine, you might want to make this a day ahead to enhance the flavor of the dried basil)
• 1 teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon of Olive oil
• Option for dressing: Your favorite bottled Italian dressing

• Cooking Directions:
• Rinse, dry and slice the tomatoes
• Peel and slice the cucumber into bite size pieces
• Slice mozzarella, artichoke hearts and olives into bite size pieces
• In a large bowl toss tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella, artichoke hearts and black olives with the basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil (or the Italian dressing)

– Add more olive oil and vinegar to taste

Chill and serve. Use as a topping for Arugula, field greens and/or fresh spinach

Great with spicy foods to cool the taste buds

Just cook something! Cheers! Kary

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