No matter what time of year, this is the combination that my mother and I always look to as a go-to side dish for a quick dinner. The mix of veggies is not necessarily unique, but that everything is chopped to bite-sized pieces, dressed generously, and chilled before serving makes it a sturdy side sure to satisfy.
**(confession: we keep a jar of roasted peppers in the refrigerator at all times, and make the salad with these more often than with freshly roasted peppers. Also, the dressing utilizes the liquid from the peppers, so it multitasks. If roasting the peppers yourself, save whatever liquid you wind up with from that, and keep in mind that you may need additional seasoning in your dressing, specifically, a bit more garlic) —Jr0717
~2 as a side
medium cucumber (when in season, go for the pickling cucumbers, and use 2 if they are small)
medium beefsteak tomato
sugar snap peas
medium red onion
jarred, roasted peppers**
red wine vinegar (white wine and rice wine vinegars also work)
liquid from roasted red peppers
In This Recipe
Whisk together the garlic, vinegar and roasted pepper liquid, and then incorporate the olive oil in a stream so as to emulsify the dressing.
Starting with about 1/2 teaspoon of each, season the dressing - don't be shy! Whisk thoroughly, and taste as you go on a stray snap pea.
Chop all of the veggies into bite-sized pieces. For the tomatoes, discard the majority of the seeds, as they tend to make the salad soupy. .
Add about 1/4 cup of the dressing to the bottom of a large bowl, and then toss in the veggies. Toss well with your hands, making sure to distribute the dressing well throughout the salad. Add additional dressing as necessary to ensure that all veggies are well-coated.
Split the salad into two plates and chill before serving in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Immediately before serving, drizzle with additional dressing if you'd like.
You can serve this as we do, with an unapologetically torn piece of fresh crusty bread for a light lunch, as well.