When I was a child, summer meant one of my favorite food treats. Dad would gather fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and onions from his flourishing garden and create a salad.
He would slice the cucumbers and onions into rounds. Then he would cut the tomatoes and blend the veggies with vinegar, salt and pepper.
In the winter, that salad would be just cucumbers and onions with the vinegary liquid. Back then, tomatoes were too expensive in the grocery store and didn’t taste like homegrown ones.
Browsing recipes from The Olive Leaf, a popular store in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, I came across a recipe that I think my Dad would have enjoyed.
This recipe uses olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Can’t remember when I first tasted olive oil or balsamic vinegar but it sure wasn’t when I was a child. Those seemed faraway ingredients that folks in Italy or Spain might have but my family certainly didn’t.
Now my kitchen cupboard is never without those two staples. When The Olive Leaf opened three years ago, I was curious to see what all the unusual place offered. Along with recipes, The Olive Leaf has dozens of types of vinegar and olive oil. Plus, shoppers can taste them to see what they like best.
“It can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning,” owner Troy Kirkman says. “I often tell customers that the experience is like walking into a paint or carpet store. There are just so many choices. However, we assist our customers in finding the product they would like to start using depending upon the cooking application.
Here is The Olive Leaf’s recipe so you can taste for yourself:
Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad
1 pound cucumbers (about 2 cucumbers), peeled and thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 Vidalia onion, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon A-Premium White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon The Olive Leaf's Frantoio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large serving bowl, toss together cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onion, parsley, vinegar and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Let salad stand for 10 minutes before serving.
For more information: Contact The Olive Leaf at (812) 323-3073 or visit the website at www.oliveleafbloomington.com.
Located at 879 S. College Mall Road in The Shoppes in Bloomington, Indiana, The Olive Leaf is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
The Olive Leaf also offers online ordering at www.oliveleafbloomington.com