Beef and Zucchini Salad; flowers

Way back in the beginning of time I was a waitress.

We lived in a small town in Wisconsin that had a rather well-known restaurant. It was kind of a cross between a diner and a fine-dining restaurant…. Oddly typical of restaurants in the Midwest at the time.

Anyway…. standard first course was a Garden Salad, with a choice of the usual dressings of French, Thousand Island, Italian, Ranch or Blue Cheese.

Occasionally, someone would order ‘oil and vinegar’.

We had it, of course, but I (and the other waitresses) always thought it a bit odd when there were better alternatives (in our opinion).

Fast forward a decade or two or three and I’m living in Andorra. There was no French, Thousand Island, Italian, Ranch or Blue Cheese. There was only oil and vinegar.

But it was good Spanish olive oil and good sherry or Balsamic vinegar.

Sometimes (often) simple is still the best…..

Beef and Zucchini Salad

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 8oz (240gr) ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic. minced
  • 1 medium green or yellow summer squash, quartered the long way, then sliced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs capers
  • 1/3 cup green olives, sliced into thirds
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • handful fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese – your choice
  • Lettuce – enough for 2 main meal salads
  • 2 – 4 tbs Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 – 4 tbs salad olive oil

Beef and Zucchini Salad


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chili powder, paprika, cumin and sauté briefly (20 seconds).
  • Add onion, pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, beef and continue cooking, breaking beef up as it browns.
  • When beef is partially cooked add squash and sauté 5 minutes longer.
  • Remove from heat; add capers and olives.
  • Tear the lettuce and arrange on plates.
  • Divide beef, vegetables and arrange on the lettuce.
  • Drizzle each plate with 1 tbs each vinegar and oil
  • Top with tomato wedges and shredded cheese.
  • Serve with more vinegar and oil on the side.

Print Recipe

We rarely get snow.

If we have white on the ground it’s usually flowers, in this case from the two catalpa trees in front of our house.


The flowers have been falling steadily recently.


They’re in clusters on the tree, but quite pretty individually.


And so much nicer than snow.

Last update on July 4, 2016

4 thoughts on “Beef and Zucchini Salad; flowers”

  1. A simple salad for when we get a hot summer’s evening. We haven’t had one since we arrived a couple of weeks ago but it looks like there may be a couple this week.

    Now I know the name of the big leafed trees I see around here! We have to start thinking about what to plant since this is not just a holiday home any longer!

  2. A delicious sounding dish Katie. Love the flowers. I too was a waitress once many many moons ago…I did not last, if there is a word worse than BAD I better not print it here!

  3. Gill, we should meet for a coffee once you get settled in – if you are anywhere close, that is lol Summer is coming!

    kate, I thought so – or a mini orchid..

    Ina, thanks – I ‘slung a lot of hash’ in my college days. It was the only job in town.

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