Easily Grown Vegetables: Garden-To-Table Salad Series
Whether you’ve signed up to bring a salad to a barbecue this weekend, or it’s just too hot to put that much effort into making a nice side for dinner tonight, there are few salads that go together as quickly and easily as the tomato-cucumber-onion salad. Not to mention these are all easily grown vegetables, so why not try growing them yourself?
This is the first instalment of our Garden-To-Table Salad Series, outlining some great home-grown vegetables along with a salad recipe at the end! Stay tuned for more additions.
Depending on how motivated you’re feeling, this salad could quite literally just include those three ingredients. Most people will toss it with a nice vinaigrette dressing and let it sit for a few hours to take on an especially delicious flavor. Others will add a bit of feta to give it a little zing. No matter what you do with it though, it’s so easy that you kind of feel like you’re cheating when you make it.
If you’re not already familiar with this dish, our favorite version of the recipe will be at the bottom of this post!
To add a dash of prestige to this dish, why not make it with veggies you grew in your own garden? Tomatoes, cucumbers and onions are very easily grown vegetables; it’s almost like you’re cheating again… We promise not to tell the non-gardeners in your life, who will be completely wowed when you throw that little tidbit over the salad like an extra garnish.
Cucumbers and tomatoes are like one of those couples who have been together for so long that they’re pretty much clones of each other. While the end result is different, the care for both is pretty much the same. You can grow the plants from seeds, or you can buy seedlings. It’s up to you. When you plant, it’s a good idea to put stakes or cages in right away. This helps encourage them to grow up, rather than out. Plant the seedlings about two feet apart; tomatoes and cucumbers like their personal space. They also like lots of sunlight and plenty of water.
When it comes to onions, they like the sun and water as much as we do. Plant them early, where they’ll get lots of light, but don’t go too deep. They shouldn’t be more than an inch under the soil. You should also make sure they get enough water. The more you water, the sweeter your onions will be. However, you need to make sure that the soil has good drainage. Once an onion sends up a flower stalk, that means it’s done growing.
Having good soil is key even for these easily grown vegetables. It should be fluffy and light, with good drainage. A proper mixture of soil particle sizes is necessary to maintain moisture but also have enough drainage that your plants aren’t drowning. There should also be essential nutrients and organic matter, to give your plants the ‘food’ they need to thrive. While it might seem daunting to get all of these components in your soil, you don’t need to look any further than BigYellowBag Black Garden Soil. Even if it’s the only growing medium you use in your garden, your plants will grow healthier and bigger.
Now, for the recipe.
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes
- 3 medium-sized cucumbers
- 1/2 cup vinegar (you can experiment with different kinds to get the flavour you like)
- 1/4 cup oil (we recommend olive oil, but as with the vinegar, find what you like)
- 1/4 cup white sugar (you can use any substitute sweetener)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint (this is optional)
- 1/2 cup feta, cut into chunks (this is also optional)
Slice the onions, cube the tomatoes and cucumbers (peeling them, if you so wish), and the feta, if you’re including it, and put them all together in a dish. Mix the remaining ingredients together, and then pour over the veggie mix. Toss lightly to coat. Cover it and put it in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
These easily grown vegetables come together to make something DELICIOUS. Sprinkle with comments about how the vegetables (and mint) came from your garden right before serving to guests. Enjoy!