Summer Sampler

Nothing says summer like homegrown tomatoes.


Thanks to a sweet family sharing their garden’s abundance with us we were able to have tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers.


Today we made salt and vinegar cucumbers, as my husband calls them.  He loves these and I love that he’s so easy to please.  He looks forward to having them.  So easy and so yummy.

Peel and slice cucumbers and onions and put in a container.  Pour equal parts vinegar and water over slices.  I use filtered water.  And salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate. 

We just eat these as a side to whatever we are having for dinner.  My husband has been known to eat them between slices of bread.  Mostly, everyone just eats them straight from the jar. 


Another easy summer side is tomato cucumber salad.  Peel cucumbers and cut into cubes.  Cube tomatoes.  Put in container and drizzle with olive oil and a splash of wine vinegar and Italian seasoning.  I like to chop up some fresh basil and toss that in as well. 


I love it when dinner is simple!  Clean, fresh, uncomplicated flavors.  Blasted Chicken, cucumber tomato salad,  salt and vinegar cucumbers, and sauteed mushrooms.  And Julia, I’m sorry, but I did crowd the mushrooms.


It doesn’t get much easier than Blasted Chicken.  Yes, I know it’s somewhere around 90 degrees these days and turning on the oven is the last thing you want to do.  But considering how simple this is I’m willing to make concessions.  I’ll suffer the bit of extra warmth in the kitchen for this super simple dish. 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  You heard correctly.  500 degrees.  You can use a whole roasting/fryer chicken or parts.  Today I used thighs and drumsticks with skin on.  That part is very important.  It must have the skin on.  For a whole chicken put in a baking dish drizzle with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Put in oven for about one hour.

For thighs and drumsticks, I lined the bottom half of my broiler pan with foil.  You could use a cookie sheet I suppose.  Bake only about 30 minutes. 

Don’t be alarmed if you see a little bit of smoking.  It’s just some splattering.  I usually don’t experienced that, but that’s what the range hood fan is for.  Right?

I love how this chicken comes out with crunchy, salty skin but locks in all the juices making a really moist, juicy chicken.  It should look very golden and crispy.  When you cut into it the juices should run clear.  Remember, at 500 degrees it doesn’t take long.

Of course there is always just simple sliced tomato with salt and pepper as a summer side.


What are your favorite garden dishes? 


4 responses to “Summer Sampler

  1. Love this post! Thanks! One variation we do with vinegar cucs is to heavily salt cuc slices and refrigerate for 30 min, then rinse. Then boil equal parts water, vinegar, and sugar and pour over rinsed cucs (& onion if desired). Salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate. You can eat them warm if you can’t wait, but better refrigerated. This recipe adds just a touch of sweet to this yummy side.

  2. Tomatoes…aah can’t wait till we have some from the will be a few weeks yet. Picked up on today at the farm stand…they are from Tennessee! Hope it tastes like Heaven! We are going to have pickles galore soon. Great Post!

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