Tomatoes! Salad Time

When the warmest days of summer begin to fade into hints of fall, my garden and CSA boxes overflow with ripe, juicy tomatoes. It's sometimes a challenge to use them all and that's a challenge I welcome year after year. After all, not everyone gets to greet something like this when walking into the kitchen every day:

So now, while they are at their prime, I wanted to share some of my favorite tomato recipes and celebrate the season. We begin with a main dish salad that's brimming with tomatoes and much more garden bounty. Everything from every shade of tomato to a bevy of colorful peppers work together to make this simple salad a perfect option for a quick mid-week meal:

As is often the case, what you toss into this salad is less important than the basic idea outlined in the recipe below. Avoiding dairy? Skip the cheese and add some diced avocado. Have some leftover pork? Chop that and make yourself a piggy taco salad! Fresh kernels of corn would be lovely in this, as would spicy peppers for those seeking more heat. I tossed this rendition with a bit of oil and lime juice and let the seasoning work its way into the dressing, but you could also add your own dressing. You could even grab something out of a bottle. I promise I won't tell!

Turkey Taco Salad

  • 2-3 medium garden tomatoes (or a combination of large and small tomatoes — you'll want about 2 cups of juicy ones!), chopped or sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium tomatillo, chopped
  • 6-8 sweet mini-peppers, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1/2 c. cooked black beans
  • 1/2 c. grated cheese (choose your favorite variety or use diced avocado for a dairy free option)
  • 6 c. mixed greens (I used a combination of romaine and baby kale)
  • 2 c. diced turkey or chicken (I used smoked turkey)
  • 1 tsp. tex-mex seasoning of your choice (I used Penzeys salsa & pico seasoning)
  • 1 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. lime juice

Toss the vegetables, black beans, cheese, and greens together in a large serving bowl.

Warm the turkey or chicken briefly (1-2 minutes) in a microwave. Toss gently with the tex-mex seasoning and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil.

Add the seasoned turkey or chicken to the other ingredients in the serving bowl, drizzle the remaining olive oil and the lime juice over the top, and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes