Summer is a fantastic time for fresh produce. My favorite is fresh from the garden. . .and you all know I love to have a huge garden, but not everyone has that luxury. And even with my garden sometimes I want or need something that I either don’t grow or isn’t ripe! So I do wind up buying fresh vegetables at my local Walmart.
Last time I was down at the Walmart headquarters we got some time with the “fresh” team who took us through the Walmart there in Bentonville, Arkansas. They told us about some pretty neat things they have implemented at Walmarts nation wide, and they have asked all of us Walmart Moms to share a favorite “fresh” recipe with you and tell you about their initiatives and improvements.
I decided to share my “Fire and Ice Salad” recipe, which really highlights the flavors of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that below. But first I want to tell you about the initiatives.
Are you aware that Walmart has a 100% freshness guarantee?
That’s right, if you aren’t satisfied with your produce, you can get a full refund. Not only that, but you don’t actually have to bring the sub par produce back in. “If customers are not completely satisfied with Walmart’s produce, they can bring back their receipt for a full refund. No questions asked and no need to bring back the produce.” (note: This is a newer program, and as with many things in a company as large as Walmart sometimes individual associates are not aware of every single policy. If you have any problems utilizing this policy I would suggest politely asking to speak to a manger.)
As part of the whole focus on freshness they have instituted a huge education program for their associates. Let’s face it, not every associate is going to know what a fresh papaya looks like, or how to tell if some asparagus is a bit too old. They have empowered their associates to throw out any produce that is not longer fresh, and have included in the program these really cool little booklets that show pictures of various fruits and vegetables in both their fresh and “past prime” states so that each associate will know what to look for.
I think that’s pretty cool.
Now on to my recipe. As I said above, some of the items I really enjoy fresh are cucumbers and tomatoes. Although those are just coming into full swing in my garden, I frequently buy them from Walmart when they are NOT available in my back yard (which in NY is most of the year!).
Fire and Ice Salad is something I was introduced to when I lived in the south. It’s a super simple thing to whip up and I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t enjoy it. The dressing is made of ingredients so basic and simple that you’ll have a hard time believing they combine to make something so delicious–sugar, water and vinegar. That’s it! Not only that but it scales up or down easily depending on how many you need to serve.
- Red Onions
- 1 part Vinegar
- 1 part Sugar
- 1 part Water
- -Slice roughly even amounts of fresh cucumber, red onion and tomato.
- -Make a brine out of equal parts of vinegar, sugar and water--1/2 cup of each is a good place to start.
- -Marinate vegetables in brine for at least an hour, but as long as a week. The longer it sits, the better it is.