All of you Diamonds are probably super familiar with the traditional, classic, and garlicky cucumber & tomato salad that gets served at every single cookout you’ve ever been to, or have even had yourself. It’s a summer staple, but we know I like to kick things up a notch over here on Deep Fried Diamonds, so I was brainstorming summer salads that I love, that I felt in my heart may truly be missing something incredible. This was the first salad that came to my mind.. simply because I just remember my dad making it so many times for us when I was a kid. There’s so much seasoning, vinegar, and tang intertwined in this dish, but the one thing it is missing is a fatty, salty cheese! I was between parmesan, or some shredded provolone, but I decided to go with provolone since I had a beautiful big block sitting in the fridge waiting for me to do something amazing with it!
There is really no better way to start this salad off than with a quarter of a bright red onion, and one glove of garlic, all minced up!
I took two mini cucumbers from the farmers market (because they are the BEST) and cut them in half, then diced down the middle from front to back.
I shredded a half of a block of fresh sharp provolone cheese. You can use parmesan as well, or even mozzarella if that’s your most favorite cheese to enjoy!
- After grating the cheese, you can quarter an entire container of cherry tomatoes to drop into the bowl. Make sure the tomatoes you’re using aren’t too overly ripened because the juice will just pour out of them, and they will become way too mushy. That is not at all what we want. We want this salad to be fresh, and crispy, with a nice pop from the tomatoes when you take a bite.
Put all of the healthy goodies in a bowl, and top with onion powder, sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, Italian seasoning, and dried parsley to taste! You could use any fresh herbs if you have them on hand to give that gorgeous bright flavor, if you’d like. Then drizzle in a few dashes of balsamic vinegar, along with a drizzle of honey. Yes, Honey! I love using a sprinkling of honey when I’m adding some type of vinegar to a dish. The combination is delicious. If you don’t always have honey in your pantry, you can definitely use a pinch of sugar! The sugar will of course do the trick as well.
For the last ingredient .. drizzle a good amount of olive oil! On salads like this I may like more than other people would prefer, but the fattiness, and silkiness of the oil compliments all of the acidity in this dish.
The only thing you have left to do is mix up this gorgeous bowl of Italian flare, and enjoy all of it’s fresh, fatty, and salty deliciousness. This is the perfect accompaniment to anything cooked on the grill, barbecued, or even next to a nice piece of fish. It really is the right decision to pair this bowl of goodness with something that has a nice fat content to it because the contrast is just truly unreal! That’s what I try to accomplish most when creating plates/dishes; is making sure there are different contrasting flavors happening all at once. I believe that that is what makes food so remarkable, and loved! This dish is also ideal to prepare to bring to a gathering, or a special occasion this summer! It goes with any type of cookout vibe, and everyone will love that there’s a nifty little fresh option to adorn their meal with!
I hope you Diamonds are enjoying your summer, and eating fresh, bright, & wonderful summertime foods!