Summertime, and the cooking is easy—or at least it can be. When the sun is finally shining, especially in parts of the world where warm weather is only a seasonal treat, there’s no reason to be toiling away over the hot oven. You want quick, easy meals that are as refreshing as they are filling. That’s exactly what you’ll find in this salad. No fuss, no sweat. It really is as simple as it gets for clean food without sacrificing any of the flavor of a four-hour culinary project.

The combination is one you wouldn’t ordinarily see together: a crisp apple, fresh dill, crunchy cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and hearty walnuts. It’s perfect for a light appetizer or a main dinner served with a side of protein, such as chickpeas or the meat alternative suggested below.

The prep is as simple as it gets. A little chopping, a little dicing, a little tossing (with a tart and tasty lemon vinaigrette that will please any palate), and a lot of delicious eating. Fresh, flavorful, and good for you—what more could you need after a hot summer’s day?

Meat Alternative:
Ground beef pairs nicely with these ingredients, and takes no time to prepare: Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 1 pound of organic grass-fed ground beef. Add sea salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of ground cumin. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until fully cooked. Remove from the heat. Let cool for 5 minutes, and toss with the salad.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 large pink lady apple, diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (or lime zest)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (or lime)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, apple, tomatoes, scallion, walnuts, and dill. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and serve immediately.

    Yield
    4 servings

     

    Photography by Amie Valpone

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