My new favorite salad. Plus a perfect summer supper.

Dear friends,

This is one post where the food takes center stage.

Or in which I was more interested in eating my supper than taking photographs for my blog.

You decide, but either way you’ll have to trust me when I say this is a supper you’ll want to make . . . even without the obligatory photographs of mouth-watering food on a beautiful table to tempt you.

Here’s my token shot of beautiful food — then we’ll move on to the recipes:


Interested now?

I thought so.

Here’s the line up:

  • Grilled flank steak
  • Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Dressing
  • Turkish Potatoes

First — the steak. It couldn’t be simpler and here’s the recipe. I’ve made it several times with a tri-tip, but I tried it last night with a flank steak and achieved similarly spectacular results.  Give it a try and let me know what you think. I predict you’ll think it’s a go-to recipe that will significantly improve your life at the grill, but I’d like to hear it from you.

Second — the salad. Mr. Mom and I had dinner at a friend’s house Saturday night and she served this salad. It’s one of those dishes that the first time you eat it, you immediately begin planning the next time you’ll eat it. In our case, that meant the very next evening. I might have it two or three more times this week because it’s that good.

The salad is my friend’s concoction. The dressing is a recipe she modified from one in Southern Living. In total, it’s simply a plate layered with slices of yellow and red tomato, cucumber, shelled edamame, and white onion rings, then drizzled with fresh yogurt dressing. You can easily use less or more of each salad ingredient depending on your own taste and the number of people to be served.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

  • 1 large yellow tomato, sliced thinly
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, split in half lengthwise, then sliced
  • 1 small white onion, sliced into rings
  • Half of a 1-lb bag of shelled edamame, thawed

Arrange all ingredients on a platter in a layered fashion. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for two hours. Serves 4.

Yogurt Dressing

  • 1 4-oz container of plain nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Optional: 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours so flavors can meld. Optional: Serve the dressing with blue cheese crumbles on the side. Makes about 1.5 cups of dressing.

Now for the potatoes. They are also a gift from a friend. Because Dilek and her family are from Turkey, I call them simply “Dilek’s Turkish Potatoes.” When I make them, they taste fabulous but never look as good as hers. I can’t figure out why, but since taste rules, I’m okay with it.

Turkish Potatoes

  • 5-6 medium potatoes (I used Idaho)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or a little less, depending on your taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: lemon juice

Scrub and boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain and let cool to the touch. When cool, the peelings should easily come off the cooked potatoes with your fingers. After peeling the potatoes, shred them with a box grater. Add the chopped herbs to the potatoes, along with salt and pepper to taste, then toss. Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil — and, if desired, the juice of half a lemon — then gently stir to combine. Serves 6.

I love these potatoes because of their simple, fresh flavor. I also love these potatoes because they taste just as good warm, room temperature, or chilled. I often make them early in the day and let them sit on the kitchen counter until dinner. (They’re great for getting a jump-start on meal time.) Sometimes I re-heat them in the microwave, but trust me when I tell you they are just as good served at room temperature. For some reason, my potatoes never hold their shredded shape and look a bit crumbled. My friend’s potatoes were perfect and I can’t help but wonder if I have managed to overcook them every time. I’ve also wondered if it would improve the texture if I cooked them several hours in advance and chilled them before shredding. I have no idea, but I do know that even if you overcook your potatoes and they crumble instead of shred, they’ll still taste fabulous.

Here’s one final shot that I managed to snap with my iPhone before our family devoured the entire meal.


With gratitude {for a perfect summer supper thanks to friends},

Joan, who wishes she could claim she eats this fresh and healthy every day, but has a pantry full of snacks that tell the real truth