Garden Tomato Salad with Shiso

This salad is loaded with freshly harvested tomatoes from our garden and spiked with shiso, super fragrant with citrus notes.

This summer my vegetable/fruit garden grew very well, since we had to stay home, I spent a lot of time in the backyard, watering, trimming and “talking” to the plants.

I have never had tomato bushes reaching the roof, herbs grew so large that resemble little trees, and fruit trees/vines were exceptionally fruitful…

Somehow when you make food with your harvest, they taste special. Today, I am sharing a very simple and yet refreshing salad using tomatoes and shiso leaves from my garden. Shiso leaves pair very well in salad especially when citrus flavors are added…in this recipe I used ponzu which is a citrus seasoned light soy sauce.

– Have you ever heard of shiso?

Shiso is very popular in Japanese cuisine paired with uni (sea urchin), sashimi, sushi, in salad or as a wrap. Moreover, shiso can be used in stew as well.

– How does shiso leave taste?

I found that shiso is like cilantro for many people, either you love it or you hate it…shiso has a pretty strong flavor, it is minty with hints of cinnamon, citrus, basil, cilantro and other flavors…very hard to describe. Once you had it you will never forget its flavors and fragrant.

– Is it hard to grow shiso herb?

Not at all, they are pretty much self-seed, and come back every year. The plant like sun, at least half of the day and does not require any special treatment. You can grow from cutting too, by placing in water until the roots come out and plant in well-drained soil after.

– Are there more varieties of shiso?

Yes, green and red, both are very similar in flavor, although the red ones seems to have a stronger flavor as compared to the green ones.

– Are you ready to try this recipe?


  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Shiso leaves
  • Ponzu sauce
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


Slice tomatoes and cucumber, about ½ inch and place in a bowl.  Add the cubed avocado and mix gently.

Wash the shiso leaves, dry and cut into small strips (julienned), and set aside.

In the bowl drizzle ponzu sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Toss in the salad mix the julienned shiso leaves.

Serve cold.

– If you are looking so simple and refreshing recipes for the summer, you might want to check on these…

Did you know that shiso leave has anti-inflammatory properties? Moreover, shiso contain antioxidant and anti-allergy properties as well. Shiso leaves are rich in calcium, iron and vitamin A.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

Lentil Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

This is a delicious and healthy salad with lentils, cucumber and roasted tomatoes.  It can be served as a side dish or even as a main dish.

This is a simple and tasty lentil salad…it is sure packed with flavors and texture. The flavors are intense…sweet roasted tomatoes to the spicy cumin and the texture are from soft and creamy to crunchy. It can be served as a side dish or as a main meal as I have done many times.

The leftover can be stored in the refrigerator for next day lunch…


  • 1 ½ cup dry lentils
  • 1 bay leaf (dry)
  • Salt to taste
  • 16oz sugar/grape tomatoes, washed and cut into half
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh thyme to taste, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 or 2 cucumbers cut into small cubes
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Wash the lentil and soak overnight in water, changing a few times

Cook the lentil in water with the bay leaf and a pinch of salt, first at high heat until boiled and then in low heat until the lentil is soft but not mushy.

In the meantime, cut the tomatoes in half and preheat oven to 375F.

In a medium bowl toss together the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix gently until all the tomatoes are cover with oil.

In an oven safe tray, lay the tomatoes in a single layer. Roast for 40 minutes, and then increase the temperature to 425F if you want to caramelize them a bit.

Once the lentil is all cooked, drain well and place in a medium bowl. Let it cool.

Add to the lentil bowl roasted tomatoes, cucumber, cumin, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cilantro, salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve.

I hope you enjoy this healthy lentil salad loaded with flavors, please check on Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes recipe.


Did you know that lentils are legume? Lentils are high in protein and fiber. Moreover, lentils are a good source of folate and manganese and so easy to prepare.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

Pickled Cucumber and Carrot

This recipe for is for an Asian inspired pickled cucumber and carrot with a hint of ginger. This dish is very popular and can be served as a side dish, in sandwich and in salad.

I love this pickled cucumber and carrot…it is a nice addition to the table as a side dish and yes, taste delicious in a sandwich as well. There is a nice balance between the tart and sweetness, and the ginger just adds a nice kick to it.

The great thing about this simple way to pickled is that they stay almost forever in the refrigerator…not that it last that long, you know what I mean.

My mom makes this pickled cucumber and carrot very often…and always send a jar to when we go visit her…this time I decided to make my own, and the nice thing is that you can always adjust the ration between the sugar and vinegar, depending on your taste. I am giving you the basic recipe, please feel free to change as your palate desire.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 3 lbs cucumber
  • 1 lb carrot
  • Ginger to taste, I used 1 ½ chunk, cut into thin stripes


Peel carrot and wash the cucumbers and remove the seeds if necessary.
Cut the carrot and the cucumber into approximately 1 ½ to 2 inch lengths by approximately ¼ inch.

Place the carrot and the cucumber into a bowl and the salt and toss. Set aside for approximately ½ hour to 1 hour.

In the meantime, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and stir well until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the ginger into the vinegar mix. Set aside. Or alternatively you can add the ginger when adding the vinegar by layering with the veggies.

Drain the water from the carrot and cucumber, by removing as much as you can.

In a jar, alternate by adding layers of veggies and then vinegar mix. Make sure that all the veggies are covered by the vinegar mix.

Place the jar in the refrigerator for at least one day before serving. And the longer the cucumber and carrot stay in the refrigerator the tastier they will get.

If you enjoy this simple Asian inspired recipe for pickled cucumber and carrot, you might want to check on Vietnamese Pickled Daikon and Carrot recipe.


Did you know that ginger has been used in China for over 2000 years? It is known to help digestion, and treat nausea, stomach upset and even diarrhea.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

Chinese Cucumber Salad

This is the kind of cucumber that is often served as one of side dishes at the classic Chinese banquet…it is simple and really tasty. The flavors of this cucumber dish is kind of garlicky, sweet with a touch of spiciness. I love this simple side dish, especially when the weather is warm…the cucumbers have crunchy texture with complex flavors, and can be kept in the fridge for a few days.


3 Japanese cucumbers
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon whole peppercorns
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce


Cut the cucumber into 1 to ½ in length and add salt. Mix and let it sit for about ½ hour. This will remove the water from the cucumber.

Drain the water from the cucumber and set aside.

In the meantime, prepared the sauce by placing the garlic in the oil, let it fry for a little until some fragrance come from the pan, add the peppers, then the sugar, the vinegar and the soy sauce. Let it boil and immediately add the cucumber. Stir gently and turn the heat off.

Remove from the pan and place in an air tight glass jar. Once the cucumber cool down, place in the refrigerator. Serve cold.

If you enjoy this cucumber side dish you might want to check on lighter version of Asian Style Cucumber Salad.


Did you know that cucumber contains approximately 95% water? Moreover, cucumbers have somehow diuretic properties due to the high water and potassium content.


Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!