Monday, August 8, 2016
I don't know about you, but in the summertime, I much prefer to keep cooking minimal and simple, and put most of my effort into cold sides. This summer has been so humid and hot, the very idea of adding more heat makes me feel limp.
One of my favorite ways to keep cool and enjoy summer's seasonal produce is to make and keep Cucumber Salad on hand. It's easy, versatile, and you can put it together in the morning and have it ready whenever you are.
If you can put this together without nibbling as you go, you've got a stronger will than I do - but hey, it's cucumbers, so nibble away!
2-3 large cucumbers, washed and sliced thinly
1 large white onion, peeled and sliced thinly
coarse kosher salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced finely (optional)
2 T fresh herb or 2 tsp dried (or to taste) - dill, cilantro or mint
Pepper, to taste
splash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1. Thinly slice cucumbers and onion. Either lay the slices out on paper towels, or put into a large bowl. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt, mixing to coat all slices, and let rest for about an hour. The salt will draw out excess moisture. Drain thoroughly, squeezing gently to release any remaining juice, and return to bowl.
3. Fold dressing into the cucumber blend, coating each slice thoroughly. Chill for at least an hour, up to overnight.
Variations: Switch up the herbs depending on what you have. Dill and lemon juice give this a taste similar to Greek Tsatziki, while cilantro and mint will taste more like Indian Raita.
The type of onion will also make a difference - try red onion for color and a crisp bright taste, or Vidalia onions if you prefer your onion taste to be on the sweeter, milder side.
If desired, add a small amount of sugar to the dressing - don't overdo, but taste as you go.
If cucumbers tend to make you burp, try cutting them longwise, and scooping out the inner core of seeds with a spoon before slicing - for many people, avoiding the seeds will make them more digestible.