Garden Salad

It’s that time of year where delicious produce starts popping up at every farm stand, market and {my personal favorite} those hand-tilled gardens! Tomatoes, cucumber… peppers oh my! I loooove reaping the benefits of all those who garden! I inherit some of the best produce and herbs this time of year, and I’m oh so grateful… and hungry!

This isn’t ultra fancy… and it’s not anything crazy or daring… it’s a salad. Well, not just any salad, but a local-harvested-vegetable kind of salad… and it’s deeeeeeelicious! These are my favorite kind of salads to make, because you can use any vegetables you like; zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms… just do me one favor… skewer and grill as many of them as you can!!

I started off by chopping up half of a yellow and orange pepper, then a red onion. I carefully skewered each piece being very careful not to skewer my own hand, which is pretty hard when the tears from the onions are still freshly resting on my eyelids. My eyes always resemble Tammy Faye Bakkers’ after chopping onions… so not pretty.

Then I just grilled them until the air was filled with the aroma of caramelized onions, the veggies should be slightly soft and charred.

After the grill, give them a few minutes to chill out until they are cool.

I then washed, dried and chopped up some romaine lettuce and tossed it into a bowl.

I sliced up and added some cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from my in-laws garden…

Probably the best I’ve tasted yet this summer!

I toasted some pine nuts in a dry pan for a few minutes. I love toasted nuts… any kind. Toasted.

I then added all those charred veggies and the toasted pine nuts to the salad…

{I only use two skewers and save the leftovers for fajitas!!}

… and tossed.

Serve it with whatever dressing your heart desires; ranch, Italian or oil & vinegar dressing… Either way grilling the veggies puts a fun and delicious spin on a traditional salad. If you have the time, fry up some bacon and sprinkle it on top!!

Never underestimate the power of a delicious salad.


Garden Salad

Yield: 4 servings


1 large head of Romaine Lettuce, washed and chopped

1/2 a Orange Pepper, chopped

1/2 a Yellow Pepper, chopped

1/2 a Red Onion, chopped

1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup Cucumber, halved and sliced

1/4 cup Pine Nuts, toasted in a dry pan

1/3 cup Bacon Pieces, chopped {optional but highly recommended!}


Skewer the peppers and onion. Grill on medium heat until slightly tender and lightly charred. Remove and let rest until cooled.

Meanwhile heat a small skillet on medium low heat. Once preheated add pine nuts and toast until lightly golden and aromatic.

Place all the prepared ingredients in a large salad bowl, toss, dress and serve!

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17 Responses to “Garden Salad”

  1. #
    Wanna Be A Country Cleaver — August 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Oh how I WISH my tomatoes would ripen!! This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a Tomato summer here in Seattle! Looks delightful, Laurie! ~Megan

  2. #
    Bev Weidner — August 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I cry. From the beauty. TEARS.

  3. #
    Jennifer — August 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Your photos are exquisite. What camera do you use?

  4. #
    Andrea the Kitchen Witch — August 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Come on garden, do your thing already so I can make this!! Its beautiful! I love grilled charred veggies and putting them in a salad is brilliant. YUM!!

  5. #
    Aarthi — August 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    wow..i love this one…how colourful it is…

  6. #
    Kristy Lynn — August 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    absolutely nothing tastes better than farm (garden) fresh veggies. Anyone who's tasted a fresh tomato will tell you that. Fantastic!

    And toasted nuts? It's the only way I'll put them in my mouth.

    PS. While romaine is cool, I can't get over the Speckled lettuce we got in our CSA box this week… A little bitter but crisp and gorgeous! love salads!

  7. #
    Becka (The Elegant Eggplant) — August 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    So good!! I have been just eating tomatoes plain lately, thats how good they are!! And I am so jealous you have a grill…. this is when I question living in NYC! 🙁

  8. #
    RavieNomNoms — August 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Looks amazing! I love fresh veggies! They always make the best dishes and salads. Thanks for sharing!

  9. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — August 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks Megan! I have a friend hooking me up with some heirlooms when they turn… I sooo totally can't wait! 🙂

  10. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — August 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Jennifer~ Thanks a bunch… It was a low lighting situation the other day… but I'm glad you like the photos! I have a Nikon D3000, and I love it!

  11. #
    Courtney — August 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    what gets better than this, quick and easy but packed full of lots of veggies, looks great!

  12. #
    Brenda — August 19, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I'm so happy to see my beautiful little tomatoes in your fabulous post! What a great idea! You're the best Laurie!!

  13. #
    Erin — August 19, 2011 at 2:21 am

    What amazing colors! All those veggies grilled and in a salad just sounds amazing!

  14. #
    Pretend Chef — August 19, 2011 at 11:48 am

    This salad looks amazing. I think it's great that you are given fresh produce. I miss living out in the country where our neighbors would bring over baskets of yummies. I would like to invite you to participate in a giveaway on my blog. Check it out if you are interested.

  15. #
    kita — August 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Now that's a salad. I love the crunch of fresh vegetables and hate when a salad doesn't leave you satisfied. This looks great though! Love the extra touch of grilling the peppers and onions.

  16. #
    Tiffany — August 22, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I think those grilled veggies are crazy and daring for some folks! For me, this salad would be the perfect summer lunch or dinner!


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