Basic Vinaigrette

1 part vinegar or lemon or lime juice
3 parts olive oil (or other vegetable or nut oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: add a bit of finely diced shallot or garlic and a dab of Dijon or coarse mustard

Whisk all ingredients together until well blended. Taste for seasoning. Use right away or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Other possible additions — chopped olives or capers, chopped fresh or sundried tomatoes, herbs or spices, honey, sugar or molasses.


Herbed Yogurt Dip

1 cup plain yogurt (use your favorite)
1 tablespoon chopped shallot or 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (I used dill and chives, but also try parsley, basil, scallions, and fresh thyme)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir all ingredients together and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Simplest Cucumber Salad

4 to 5 small cucumbers (or substitute 2 medium cucumbers), peeled only if the peel tastes bitter
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon of vinegar

Toss all ingredients well to combine. Refrigerate for up to a week.

Other possible additions — a pinch of celery seeds; yogurt and fresh dill; minced hot peppers and mint


My Mom’s Fresh Corn Salad (Last of the Summer)

5 to 6 ears of corn, shucked and corn cut off the cob
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon mayo (preferably homemade) or sour cream
A small handful of torn fresh basil

Combine all the ingredients, mixing well to combine. Refrigerate for up to a week.