This rather loose recipe came into our marriage along with a bunch of Grateful Dead albums, an antique toaster, and a real trilobite fossil. Margaret learned it from Bob Haight, a housemate from her student years in Berkeley. This salad is a late summer favorite when tomatoes are big and ripe. While the salad mostly gets packed up and taken in for lunches, it's a great salad to have in the fridge at the end of the day.
Our, or rather Margaret's, routine is to make this while I'm doing the dinner dishes. If she pushes, she can usually finish before I'm done with the dishes, so just as I'm finishing up I get stuck with the cutting board, knife, and cleaning up the counter. We have such fun. Anyway, this is great with toast or big crisp crackers that you can use as a spoon.
1. Dice the tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell pepper into a big bowl.
2. Crumble the cheese over the vegetables, toss in the olives, dried herbs, salt and pepper.
3. Quickly chop the parsley leaves so some whole ones remain and add to the bowl. Gently stir everything together, then add the olive oil and a splurp or two of balsamic vinegar. Gently stir again, taste, and adjust the vinegar salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate. (The salad is pretty good right away, but by the next day there will be a pool of delicious broth in the bowl.)
Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.
This page created 1997. Modified August 2007.
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