Friday, April 20, 2012

How I am Going to Spend my Summer Vacation

It's a simple lunch for a simple guy...

Bed of fresh lettuce with a drizzle of fresh made vinaigrette

Truly a Rite of Spring!

But what on Earth does this have to do with my summer plans... LOTS.  And you can make the same  plans now too...

Have you been checking out the gardening stores and sections of hardware stores with all the plant startings and seeds.  Well, I planted mine.  I have containers with Cherry Tomatoes, several tomato plants, plenty of peppers and lots of herbs started.  Of course, it is a bit early to harvest anything, but everything is planted and nicely growing.  I even have a couple of cherry tomatoes that should be ripe in a week or so.

but while searching for all this produce I plan to have in a month or two and throughout the summer, I found a wonderful item...

It's a big pot of lettuce and assorted mixed greens (red leave, and peppery arugula among others).  All ready grown and ready to be harvested.

It also serves double duty as a center piece for our outdoor table (we eat and serve a lot outside).

It is a very simple matter to take a bread knife, saw off a few leaves (be sure to leave about two inches of stalk so that it grows back).  This one bowl will provide about a dozen salads every two weeks.  It regrows FAST!

And instant salad!  Now, shortly I will have tomatoes and peppers and herbs to add to the mix to make something glorious.  But after a winter of vegetables and greens coming from thousands of miles away, it is a real treat to make a few cuts, wash a few leaves and sit in the sunshine and plot... How I am going to spend my summer vacation... Basking in the actual fruits (well, vegetables) of my garden.

But wait... There's more...

As I am sure you have heard, and the friend to bloggers everywhere, O OLIVE OIL are putting on a HUGE cooking contest.  I have looked through several of your ideas and they sound simply spectacular.  Top quality Artisan ingredients with extra spices and loaded with cooking skills you all are famous for.

On advice from the good folks at O Olive Oil (if you read their website carefully, they have some wonderful uses for their products already posted), I have started using the oils and vinegars as finishing sauces.  Simple fresh ingredients paired with a fresh made vinaigrette.  I am drooling at the idea of picking a tomato and just a spritz or sprinkle of Tahitian Lime oil and a bit of salt... What could be better?

I lined my bottles up in front of my tomato and pepper plants to give them a little encouragement to get started already!

But until then, I can always make something special anytime I want a quick light lunch...

A Home made Vinaigrette is so easy to make.

3 to 1 mix of Olive Oil and Vinegar whisked together.  Add some spices or herbs if you like.  Even some fresh juice if you want to flavor your dressing.

O Olive Oil offers a wonderful "deal" on collections of their products, including a "Signature Series" Collection of a couple of bottles of Oil and even more vinegars.  That collection just happens to be one of the $1,000 in prizes awarded for the contest.

It is also a wonderful way to spend your summer vacation... Pick a little lettuce, mix and match your pressed flavored Oils and Vinegars  And you have a fresh summer treat!

My single serve salad (Jackie is still off to her inconvenient day job) is a handful of lettuce, 1 1/2 teaspoons of Tahitian Lime Pressed Oil whisked together with 1/2 a tsp of Champagne Vinegar.

Can't wait to see what I mix up tomorrow!

And bloggers... You too can take advantage of our biggest and most exciting contest yet...

eRecipeCards and the friend to bloggers everywhere, O OLIVE OIL are sponsering a cooking contest among bloggers... 24 bloggers will be selected to receive FREE pressed oils and gourmet barrel aged vinegars to work blogger magic.

Over $1,000 in products will be awarded and we want YOU to be a part... Click HERE for all the details!


  1. Great lookng salasd. You are still the hustler.

  2. Great photos! How can your tomatoes possibly be ripe? Oh, dear! I'm hopelessly behind. The tomato plants have arrived, but they're in a temporary home and not anywhere near ready to produce tomatoes!

    ~ Krista