This is another of my favourite summer salads. Cucumbers are practically in glut this time of year, but I can’t get inspired to do any preserving. One year I made dozens of jars of bread-and-butter cucumbers, but by the time cucumber season finished I was quite happy to leave them un-opened. By the time I started to feel like cucumber again, the season had come round again. They sat very decoratively on a shelf for several years.
Now I try very hard to discipline myself to plant only one cucumber vine each fruiting planting break throughout spring and summer. That way I have continuity of supply all season, and I still end up giving lots away.
This recipe uses 2 continental cucumbers. They need to be sliced lengthways very fine. I use the broad blade on my grater, and to get the green edges, I grate the cucumber lengthways, and discard the first and last slices, and, if the middle is too seedy, a couple of middle slices too.
- Put the sliced cucumbers in a colander, sprinkle with a dessertspoon of salt, and leave to drain for about half an hour.
- Toast 2 dessertspoons of sesame seeds in a heavy pan, shaking to get an even toast.
- Finely slice half a red onion.
- Make a dressing by blending together
- 1 or 2 chilis (depending on how hot they are)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- a thumb sized knob of fresh ginger
- 4 or 5 leaves of culantro or sprigs of coriander
- several drops of sesame oil
- 4 dessertspoons of lime cordial
- 1 dessertspoon of fish sauce
- Rinse the cucumber in fresh water, drain well, pat dry, and toss with the sliced onion, toasted sesame seeds, and dressing.
This salad holds relatively well, so it’s a good one to take to a barbeque or make ahead of time. Goes really well with barbequed fish.