Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Cucumber Salad - Two ways

Sliced thin and dressed in an Asian Vinaigrette or a Light Sour Cream dressing. Try them both ways!

Cucumbers are fresh, crunchy and underused. These are a couple of quick recipes designed for two but you can easily double the recipe if you want more.

You will need:

Asian Cucumber Salad
  • 5-6 mini hot house/English cucumbers
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Mirin (sweetened rice wine)
  • 1 tbsp soy
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
  • black and white sesame seeds (1 tsp each)
Sour Cream Dressing
  • 1 English Cucumber- these are the cucumbers sealed in plastic grown in a hothouse also called Hot House Cucumbers- not the old waxy, seedy kind.
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp sour cream
  • salt and pepper

These are the kinds of cucumbers I would use. I honestly, don't know why people still buy those nasty, thick skinned, seedy types we used to get in the "olden days". These are so much nicer, you typically don't have to remove the skin or seeds and they look and taste so much better. If you cannot find the mini cucumbers just use a large English cucumber.

Step 1: to prepare the Asian Salad start by partially peeling the skin, I leave some skin on for a nice effect on the sides of each slice. Thinly slice each cucumber very carefully (don't cut yourself!) on a mandolin. I like to hold the cucumber on a slight angle to make the slices longer and elongated.

Step 2: make dressing by simply adding ingredients directly to the bowl with the cucumbers. Add rice wine vinegar, olive oil, Mirin, (bought in most grocery stores) soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Taste it and add some salt and pepper. 

Step 3: serve in a small bowl with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.  When you slice a cucumber thinly much of it's water will come out so I like to serve this within the hour of making it. You can always pour off the liquid but this is not a salad I would let sit around for long.

Light Sour Cream Cucumber Salad

Step 1: Leave skin on and thinly slice a large English cucumber on a slight angle. Carefully, use the mandolin to get the best, even slices.

Step 2: make the dressing by adding all the ingredients to the bowl and tossing. Add white wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar and sour cream. I do not like a wet, creamy salad so I just use the smallest amount of sour cream. If you prefer you can add more. I added 1 tbsp to my salad here. Taste and add salt and pepper.

Serve soon after making to avoid the cucumbers from getting watery. I like to drizzle a bit of good olive oil and some salt and pepper (this pepper was a mix of red, white and black)

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