Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cucumber Salad

I have a new cookbook. Well, it's not really new. I got it in November. But I've never cracked it open before. This fabulous book is Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop. And I've finally made something from it. Why wait so long? I love vegetables, really its a little bizarre how much I love vegetables, but I'm not some kind of freak that I'd turn down making something sweet and delicious and sugar laden because I'd rather eat a cucumber. Given the choice of cake or vegetable, it's most likely that I'll choose cake. Especially if it's frosted (the cake, not the vegetable). Now if dessert is pie, I might be the lunatic eating more peas.

So being that it's January and everyone seems to be on a get healthy kick. And people everywhere are stepping away from the butter and heading gloomily to my favorite part of the grocery. No not the ice cream section. The produce section. Stay with me here. I figure I'll help entice people to eat their veggies by providing a month's worth of veggie recipes. I can't promise there won't be bacon. In fact there will be bacon mighty soon. And I will occasionally take a break from posting about veggies for the next cupcake hero and the Daring Bakers challenge and maybe a birthday cake. I never step away from the butter.

So tonight's recipe is a delicious healthy Asian Cucumber Salad with Sesame. Yeah, I know, cucumbers are a little on the bland side. And I had flashbacks to making Kimchi that the cucumber slices are salted and pressed for an hour. I even told the Brain, who was sitting there happily eating spaghetti, that if it turned out like Kimchi we were tossing it. But when the Brain said he didn't want any, I didn't argue. I ate the entire salad. Geez I'm a pig. Good thing I went to spin class this morning. This salad is seriously delicious. The dressing isn't overbearing and the cucumbers are still fairly crunchy and cold. If I wasn't full on cucumbers I think some nice lean protein like chicken or fish would go well with it.

Asian Cucumber Salad with Sesame

3 medium cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut on a diagonal 1/4 inch thick
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet until golden brown

1) Toss the cucumbers and salt in a large strainer or colander set over a bowl. Fill a gallon-size Ziploc bag with ice water and set the bag on top of the cucumber slices. Drain for 1 hour.

2) Meanwhile whisk the vinegar, oil, sugar, and pepper flakes together in a small bowl and set the dressing aside. Stir every once in a while throughout the hour.

3) Thoroughly rinse the cucumbers under cold running water and pat dry. Toss with dressing and toasted sesame seeds.


Kelly Mahoney said...

What a nice salad for New Year's resolutions.

Bellini Valli said...

I have some gourmet rice wine vinegar that would be delicious with the cucumbers as well. Keep all those delicious and healthy recipes coming in 2008!!

Deborah said...

I actually really like cucumbers. And I have been trying to be better about making side dishes with our dinners, and this looks like a wonderful one!!

Mrs. White said...

I love this idea, especially since delicious vegetables is something I should be eating more of, but simply don't know how :)

Tartelette said...

I love cuke salad! This one seems like the perfect cure to a little too much chocolate during the holidays (ugh!)Happy New Year!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I love cucumber salad, especially when drizzled with toasted sesame oil as you have done here.

Peabody said...

I love cucumber's so refreshing. Yours looks good.