Summer is almost officially upon us. Kids are winding down with school, patio furniture is out but in desperate need of cleaning and I'm dreaming of outdoor entertaining. This is a colorful and beautiful salad to serve. I also buy some flatbread or naan and grill it to soften and provide some grill marks - cut into wedges and pile around this mound of goodness. It's called "forklift" salad because of the bounty of vegetables that you'll be consuming and that's a good thing!
2 cups English cucumbers that have cores removed and diced
2 cups seeded and diced plum or Roma tomatoes
2 cups cored and diced red pepper
1 can drained and rinsed garbanzo beans
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 Tbls plus 1 Tbl. white or cider vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. whole-grain dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbls. fresh mint
3 Tbls. fresh basil
3 Tbls. fresh flat-leaf or Italian parsley
Combine all veggies/beans and in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and mustard. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Pour over veggies/beans and let sit for up to two hours at room temperature. At serving time add herbs and adjust salt/pepper as needed. Serve with wedges of grilled flatbread. You may also want to consider serving with a slotted spoon.