Fall started this week, and yet today is a beautiful sunny day and I’m thinking about salad instead of soup. So I thought I would share one of my favorite, super easy salad recipes. I’ve taken this one to parties before, and it always disappears! Since I made it up myself, it’s never really had a name. But I made up a name so I wouldn’t have to just call it “salad.”
Cucumber Artichoke Salad
1 large cucumber
1 small sweet onion
2 small Roma tomatoes
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (not the marinated kind)
1 cup mozzarella cheese balls
1 small can sliced black olives (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 cup Italian dressing
Peel cucumber and cut into 1/2 inch squares. Slice sweet onion and cut rings in half. (Walla Wall Sweets, if you can get them, are the best, but any sweet onion will do.) Chop Roma tomatoes into small pieces. Drain artichoke hearts. (You can also get whole artichoke hearts and quarter them yourself, but it’s more work that way.) If you are putting in the olives, drain them well. Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl. Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve.
A note about the mozzarella cheese balls: These come in a plastic tub of water in the cheese section. I use a slotted spoon to scoop out the amount I want for this salad. You can usually get two salads out of one tub.
A note about the Italian dressing: I’ve made this with both fat-free Italian dressing and with homemade Good Seasons Italian (made with olive oil and red wine vinegar). Pretty much any Italian dressing or vinaigrette that you like or have in the house will do. How much you use will depend on how you like your salad. Some people like a lot of dressing, and others like only a little.
A note about the artichoke hearts: I used to put marinated artichoke hearts in this recipe, until I read the label and discovered how much fat is in them. Plus, I never really like the marinade they come in. It tends to involve soybean oil, and I prefer olive oil. I have found that the canned artichoke hearts soaked in a little olive oil and red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar taste better than the pre-marinated kind anyway.