Gosh, summer makes me happy.

Maybe it is all the Vitamin D my body is finally producing thanks to Mr. Sun.

Maybe it is the fact that it stays light until nearly 10 pm.

Maybe it is the high drama on this season’s Bachelorette.

I’m not sure, but I sure do love it.

For me, summer vegetables are the best. I like vegetables that still taste like vegetables, and so these SUPER SIMPLE salads are a go-to for me. They each takes 2-4 minutes to throw together, and they are all the perfect side dish.

Salad #1: Cucumber Delight

Here’s what you need:

Chop your cuke. So far, so good.

Sprinkle with a little coarse Kosher salt. Gosh, I love salt.

Know what I really love? The end of a bag of pretzels when there are little salt crumbs left. Mmmm. Suddenly, I have a craving.

Add a teaspoon of olive oil. I like the extra virgin olive oil. Makes me feel wholesome and pure.

Now add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Or balsamic. Or white vinegar. Or lemon juice. Or whatever else may suit your fancy.

Um, that’s it. See? Easy. But so good.

And Lola, well… Your help has been invaluable.

Let’s eat!

Cucumber salad with chorizo tacos and some black and blue berries.

Yum, diddy, yum, yum.

Still working on the chorizo taco recipe. It isn’t quite perfect yet. But soon it shall be, and then I will share the smoky spicy deliciousness with you.

Salad #2: The Green Bean Wonder

What you’ll need:

Beans (if you have an aversion to fresh, you can use those sog logs AKA canned green beans), green onion, banana peppers, olive oil, vinegar, salt/pepper, and goat cheese.

I love goat cheese. To be honest, I love all cheese. But I hold a special place in my heart for the goat.

Boil water. Follow me so far?

I like my beans crunchy, so i only cook them for 2-3 minutes. If you like sog logs, then feel free to cook those babies for as long as you like.

In the meantime, get your ice bath ready.

Drain your beans from the boiling water, and drop them into the ice bath. This stops them from cooking any further.

Drain again, and chop the beans into thirds. If using sog logs, this is already done for you.

For every cup of beans (I have about 2 1/2 c. here), I chop up one tablespoon of banana peppers and a 1/2 of a green onion. Or do more. Whatever. I won’t be watching!

Throw it in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

Now crumble in a little bit of the creamy goat cheese goodness.

Oh, I had a little nubber of a Cherokee Purple Tomato left, so I chopped that up and threw it in too at the last minute.

Easy, Breezy, Goat Cheesy.

Salad #3: The Classic Caprese Salad

I’m sure you all know how to make this one, but I’ll give you a quick refresher.

What you’ll need:

Thinly slice the ‘mater and the mozzarella (fresh only, please).

I could eat a tomato a day during the summer. Why are winter tomatoes so weird and gross?

Give your basil a chop as well. Now layer up the red and the white, and sprinkle on the green.

Give ‘er a drizzle of olive oil.

And a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

And top it off with a drizzle of the balsamic.

Now eat! This was seriously my dinner last night. Well, plus some other stuff. Like pizza and a couple of bon-bons.

Happy eating.

Leah Out.