Of all the phrases I expect to hear at dinnertime, these two aren’t among them:

  • “I love these vegetables”; and
  •  “Can we have salad?”

I blame the tomatoes: Those gorgeous, juicy, sun-kissed orbs overflowing the garden (and kitchen) right now.

tomato bowl 2

We slice them into sandwiches; whir them into soups; and eat them out of hand — right over the kitchen sink.

We also make these salads:

seasonal salad

A tomato, cucumber and peach beauty kissed with basil and mint; and:

iceberg salad

A crunchy iceberg wedge with bacon, blue cheese and tomatoes still warm from the garden.

Yes, we love these vegetables and yes, we can have salad tonight.

(I blame the tomatoes.)

Seasonal Summer Salad

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into thick wedges
  • 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, large ones halved
  • 2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced (peel them if you like)
  • 1 tablespoon each thinly sliced basil and mint

Place the garlic and vinegar in the bottom of a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust to appeal to your palate.

Add the peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. Toss well.

Summer Wedge

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, rinsed, dried and cut into fourths
  • 4-5 medium tomatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 1/3-1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Finely mince the garlic and the oregano, almost until you have a paste.

Place the mixture into a small bowl. Add the red wine vinegar.

Whisk in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Set the bowl aside.

Cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Drain on a paper towel.

Place the lettuce on a large platter.

Scatter the tomatoes and blue cheese around and on top of it.

Sprinkle the bacon over the salad ingredients.

Spoon the dressing over everything, being sure to get plenty into the cracks of the lettuce. Let the salad sit for a few minutes to absorb all the flavors … then enjoy your vegetables!