Sunday, July 26, 2015

What to Do with All Those Cucumbers?: A Quick and Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe

They kill me, cucumber plants.  

Every day I go out and inspect my garden to see what the new day brings.  I love the suspense and surprise of finding what 24 hours of sun can do to a plant.  Inches seem to be added to a lettuce tower.  That cherry tomato is finally the right shade of red.  The basil has sprouted some new flowers.

But none of those babies can beat the cucumber plant.  I swear to God, fruit just magically appears on those suckers.  Every morning I go out and turn over every leaf, looking for some pickings and finding just babies, and the next morning I lift a leaf, and I'm like, "WHOA!!! Nice cucumber!" Full grown, fat deliciousness just hanging and waiting for me...

I love suspense, so I'm cool with these games.  I'm also cool with what I've been doing to them at dinner time:

The quantities below made enough for me eating solo; double or triple as needed.  And remember, this is a salad, so you can adjust quantities of ingredients to taste however you like.  As David Rocco says, "QB!"

Tools Needed: 1 small bowl, a fork, a juicer of some sort

  • 1 small cucumber (about 6" long), halved lengthwise and sliced thickly
  • 1/2 a small shallot, very thinly sliced
  • juice of 1/2 a small lemon (you can go lighter but don't go over; it's too much)
  • 2-3 large basil leaves, rolled up then thinly sliced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a tiny dash of cayenne peper
  • a few shaved slices of jalapeno (optional)

Steps to Make: 

1.  Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl.

2.  Add the cucumber slices and the kosher salt.  Toss well.

3.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and toss well.  Let the flavors meld in the fridge while you make the rest of dinner, tossing the salad once in awhile until ready to serve.

And that's it.  A summer salad that is light, zingy, and clean.  Perfect match for a burger, some ribs, or a grilled chicken.

Spatchcocking, anyone?

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