Cucumber, Corn and Tomato Salsa

My co-worker gave me some cucumbers she and her husband had grown in their garden. I wanted to use them right away as they were so fresh. This is a variation on a classic cucumber and tomato salad. I added charred corn for sweetness and smokiness. I also added poblano and jalapeno for spice. 

2 small or 1 medium cucumber, diced
2 ears corn
3 vine tomatoes, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps dry dill
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsps salt

I wasn't about to turn on the broiler to cook the corn. It's been in the 90's here. Instead, I used the same technique often used to char bell pepper. Put the shucked ears directly over a gas flame on the stovetop. If you don't have a gas stovetop you can broil them or use an outdoor grill. 

The corn will pop and make a bit of a mess on your cooktop, but it's worth it. 

Char the corn evenly all around. Allow to cool and them cut the kernels off the cob. 

Stir together all i…

Garbanzo Bean and Barley Salad with Lime

I love lime. It's the bomb. It's way better than any bottled dressing you can buy. Try it and you'll see. Combine fresh lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, salt and pepper and tell me it isn't the best salad dressing you've ever had. Make sure to let all the combined ingredients chill for a little while. It makes a big difference. Sometimes I also like to add some hot sauce and or some basil. You can also switch things up by using lemon instead of lime. I find the lemon to be just as good, but a milder flavor.

A great way to use your lime dressing is on a chilled bean and barley salad. Here's how.

1 can garbanzo beans rinsed
1 lime
5 cloves garlic
1/2 medium red onion
1 cup lightly sauteed broccoli
1 cup cooked pearl barley
6 black olives sliced
olive oil
salt, pepper and basil
hot sauce (optional)
chopped almonds (optional)

Use a medium sized bowl or storage container to combine your salad ingredients. We will both make and store our salad in this container. So use something fridge safe that has a lid. Combine beans, barley, onion, all juice and zest from one lime and 1 tsp olive oil. Stir to combine and lubricate all ingredients. Use a garlic press to add in your garlic. Pressing the garlic really brings out the flavor and adds to the heat. For a milder garlic flavor saute it first and then slice it in.

Season with salt and pepper. Stir and taste. Add hot sauce and basil if desired. Adjust salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.

Finiish with the sliced black olives and chopped almonds as desired. It's a simple salad that's easy to make and tastes really good and fills you up. I love the tang of the lime and the kick of the garlic. The black olives add richness and the almond give it texture. A hearty and flavorful vegan summer salad.