Cool, crunchy and quick. When it gets to be the middle of summer, those are the things I look for in recipes. Bonus points if it also uses up a vegetable that keeps appearing at our CSA in mass quantities.
This season, that vegetable seems to be cucumbers and so I am sharing this recipe for a Cucumber, Scallion & Mint Salad. It's perfect for those nights when you really don't want to cook or when its too hot you may not even want to think about food but know you need at least a small something to eat.
The key to making this salad is to allow time for draining the water from the cucumbers first. That way, they won't water down the dressing as they sit. In fact, this salad is even better after a day in the fridge since the flavors have a chance to blend together and the cucumbers can soak up all of the wonderful flavors of the dressing.
Another wonderful thing about this salad is that it can be paired with almost anything. Try it with some grilled tuna steaks, chicken thighs or maybe even my recipe for bánh mì meatballs.
Cucumber, Scallion & Mint Salad
Time: 10 minutes plus 40 minutes rest time
2 cups thinly sliced cucumber
1 cup thinly sliced scallion (cut on an angle)
10 mint leaves
1 inch ginger, peeled and finely minced
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt plus 1 tablespoon, divided
1. Place the sliced cucumber in a colander or strainer in the sink. Sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of sea salt and toss to coat. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before rinsing and draining well.
2. Create a chiffonade of the mint leaves by stacking them together and rolling them into a cigar like shape. Hold them down on the cutting board and use a sharp knife to make small cuts all the way down the length of the mint.
3. Whisk together the rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, scallions, mint and ginger to the bowl and toss well to combine.
4. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow for the flavors to come together.