One of my favorite things about summertime is the availability of deliciously fresh vegetables. Luckily I have a farm basket that is delivered each and every week and when it shows up I always find something different and delicious to experiment with. I love challenging myself and using the fresh vegetables to make something fresh and tasty.
Recently, my friends Jill and Crista, who also own Boon (http://www.boonhotels.com), a chic inn and spa in the Russian River and our friends Heidi, Bob and David got together for a little dinner party. We made a tasty marinara and serviced it with my kitchen sink salad. I took the veggies from my farm box and used them to make a tasty salad that I have dubbed the kitchen sink salad.
Here is the deal. You take whatever fresh veggies you have in the fridge and combine them together to make a tasty, crunchy and fresh salad. It's as simple as that.There is one rule however with the kitchen sink salad. You must add crushed up croutons to give it even more crunch. You can buy them in the box or make your own by slicing up a baguette and toasting it in the oven.
Here is my version:
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups of croutons, crushed into breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup of olive
- Juice of 1 lemon (you can add more if you want to)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsps of honey (optional)
Toss all of the veggies into a bowl. Add the garlic, olive oil and lemon and mix well. Add the salt and pepper to taste. You can add more lemon juice if you want it to be a little more citrusy. I also like to add a teaspoon or two of honey to sweeten it up a little. This is optional, but I highly recommend it.
Remember this... you can get creative with this salad, which is why I call it the kitchen sink. Whatever crunchy and fresh veggies you have lying around can go into this salad.