Saturday, June 10, 2006

Thai-ish Cucumber Salad

1. Infinitely expandable
2. Infinitely flexible
3. Really really easy

4. Even works with semi-tired winter cucumbers
5. And -- a bonus! An opportunity to practice or show off your insanely excellent knife skills
This was inspired by a recipe from David Rosengarten's food newsletter, a cucumber salad that my friends Marc and Elyana Tarlow first made for me in the early 1980s from Annemarie Huste's Annemarie's Cooking School Cookbook, and the fact that I'm always looking for new ways to practice my knife skills. With a sharp knife and a spoon, this recipe is a snap.
*****

INGREDIENTS
Three large cucumbers
¼ cup Red Pepper (or other flavor) Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon (or more) toasted sesame seeds (optional, but gives a nice crunch)
1 small carrot from which to make 2 T carrot brunoise* -- teeny, tiny carrot cubes (optional, but looks great)
1. Sesame seeds: Toast them in a small, hot pan. Watch carefully -- they will pop out of the pan like popcorn, and burn quickly. Remove from the pan and let them cool.
2. Cucumbers: Peel, slice in half lengthwise; scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, a melon ball scoop or a tiny cookie scoop. Cut in thin diagonal slices.
3. Dressing: Combine the rice wine vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, optional toasted sesame seeds, and carrot brunoise* in a bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the cucumbers.

4. *Brunoise: At last! A dramatic opportunity to practice or show off your insanely excellent knife skills
Cut two or three very thin planks of raw carrot. Cut the thin planks into tiny matchsticks. Cut the matchsticks into teeny, tiny cubes – 3mm or less for correct brunoise
5. Serving: While you may certainly serve it immediately, this salad benefits from an hour in the refrigerator. After that, serve it cold or at room temperature. This will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
6. Safe for travel and fun! Because it has no mayo, this is a great salad for picnics and outdoor events.

2 comments:

Dana B said...

One of my favorites! I really like this one.

Dana B said...

This is one of my favorites!