Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Well, it's Girl Scout Cookie season and guess what that means. I need some lighter, healthier recipes to make up for it. Here is a fantastic recipe that is low in calroies and high in fiber! I found this recipe in my Williams-Sonoma cookbook that has been collecting dust over the years. I rarely cook from it because I am very intimidated by it and also because a lot of the recipes are more summer/fall related. It is the winter right now: time for soups and stews. Well, I don't care! I needed something for lunch today and this absolutely satisfied. There are usually little tid-bits of information about the recipe's so I will include that here and keep in mind they are not my words. I also will include the original recipe that I loosely adapted my recipe from (i.e. I don't like olives so I discluded those and added a few more cucumbers and tomatoes as well as using dry basil instead of basil leaves). Keep in mind I made it in a smaller quantity than the orignial recipe too.

"This salad is reminiscent of the deli-style Greek versions made with iceberg lettuce, but instead of lettuce, it uses lots of juicy ripe tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers. A medium tomato only has 35 calories but is high in vitamins C and A, lycopene, and flavonoids that fight cancer and some types of heart disease. Very red tomatoes are richest in lycopene." - Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

1.5 lb ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves (I used dry basil)
2 tbsp olive oil or peanut oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
kosher salt
6 inch piece English cucumber (I used about 3/4 of a regular cucumber from my local supermarket)
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 cup crumbled ricotta cheese
2 tbsp sliced, pitted Kalamata olives (I ommited this)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
freshly ground pepper

Combine tomatoes, basil, oil, garlic, pinch salt and toss gently to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Then cut the cucumber in half discarding the seeds and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Next, dice the onion. Add the cucumber, onion, cheese, and olives to the mixture, then sprinkle with the vinegar and toss to mix. Season with pepper and stir. Serve at room temperature.

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