5 CUCUMBER SALAD IDEAS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

By Kimberley Stakal

Cucumbers are still in season, and they’re delicious in everything from Bloody Marys to homemade pickles. If you find yourself at a standstill with cucumber salads, however, don’t despair: With just a few kitchen staples, fresh herbs, and basic garden veggies, you can craft completely unique and tasty cuke salads in no time. Here are 5 cucumber salad ideas inspired from around the world.

1. Asian

Combine julienned cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, and cabbage (optional but gives great crunch and heft). Whisk together a dressing of 3 parts rice wine vinegar, 2 parts olive oil, 1 part dark or light sesame oil, and 1 part soy sauce (or shoyu or tamari). Season to taste with crushed red pepper flakes, crushed garlic, minced ginger, and a few pinches of sugar. Toss and serve.

 

2. Italian 

 

Combine chopped cucumbers, red onions, and tomatoes; add lots of torn or chopped fresh basil. Whisk together a dressing of 2 parts red wine vinegar, 1 part olive oil, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with dried oregano, crushed garlic, sea salt, and black pepper. Toss and finish off with sliced olives and cheese of choice (such as crumbled goat or fresh mozzarella).

 

3. Indian 

 

Combine chopped cucumbers and tomatoes with torn or chopped fresh mint, thinly sliced onions, and optional minced jalapeno peppers. To make a yogurt sauce , whisk a few splashes of fresh lemon juice into plain yogurt. Season to taste with sea salt and optional ground cumin and coriander. Mix everything together and serve.

 

4. American 

 

Finely slice cucumbers and a bit of red onion and combine with lots of chopped fresh dill and/or basil in a bowl. Whisk together white or apple cider vinegar, a pinch of sugar and sea salt, and black pepper—along with a small splash of olive oil. Toss with cucumber mixture and enjoy immediately or allow flavors to combine overnight in the fridge.

 

5. Mexican 

 

Combine chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and cilantro in a large bowl; add a handful or two of corn. Whisk together a dressing of 2 parts red wine vinegar and 1 part olive oil; season to taste with crushed garlic, ground cumin and chili powder, and salt and pepper. Toss and serve.

 

Image: Simon Aughton

 

 

 

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Juicy, Sweet Pan-Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad Recipe

Some ingredients are just indissociable from summer; corn and tomatoes are two such ingredients. When fresh corn and ripe tomatoes are at their peak, it can seem like blasphemy to do anything to change them… but trust us: this pan-roasted corn and tomato salad recipe offers just enough modification to bring out the best in both.

When choosing the ingredients for this side salad dish — perfectly paired with light grilled fish or poultry — bear in mind, as always, the quality of your ingredients. Pick ripe, juicy tomatoes which will help hydrate the dish, and be sure to use organic corn. Several sweet corn varieties sold in the U.S. are genetically modified, so pay close attention to source this ingredient organically, and you’ll be rewarded in flavor.

This dish can be made with fresh corn, but it’s particularly ideal for using up leftover cooked corn on the cob. Cut the kernels off the cob, and you’re halfway there.

Pan-Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad Recipe (serves 2)

Ingredients

2 cups cooked organic corn, cut off the cob
2 tsp. olive oil
5 ripe, juicy tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
fresh basil
salt and fresh black pepper

Directions

Heat a dry skillet (not nonstick) over high heat. Add the corn and allow to cook, without stirring, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Toss with the olive oil and minced garlic, and allow to macerate while the corn cooks.

When the corn begins to brown slightly, begin stirring it. Some of the starch from the corn should release and stick to the bottom of the pan. This is a good sign, but pay close attention to ensure that this doesn’t brown, reducing the heat if necessary.

When the corn pieces have barely begun to brown and you smell a roasting smell, after about 5 minutes total of cooking, add the tomatoes to the pan along with their juices. Reduce the heat. Depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes, you may also need to add a touch of water.

Use a wooden spoon to bring the fond up off the bottom of the pan and into the sauce. Continue cooking until the tomatoes are cooked through and the sauce has reduced by about half. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Serve the side topped with a chiffonade of fresh basil. Great side for grilled fish.

Kale, Corn and Peach Salad with Feta Cheese

Serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Dollop honey

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin half-moons

1 bunch kale (red Russian is especially nice), washed and torn into small pieces

1/2 bunch cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped

2 ears corn, cut off the cob

3 peaches, cut into slim wedges

1/4 cup feta (preferably a moist, mild feta, like French or Israeli), crumbled

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, sherry vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion, and let sit for a few minutes to mellow.

Add the kale and cilantro, and mix well to coat with the dressing. I like to sandwich two aluminum bowls together and shake, shake, shake until it’s coated. Let sit for an hour, refrigerated or at room temperature, for the kale to absorb the dressing and soften. Scatter the corn, peaches and feta over the top and serve (or pack in containers for your picnic).

Zucchini boats w/ Roma tomatoes and basil

Just cut a zucchini in half lengthwise and trim a little off the bottom so it sit still in a baking dish*** Scoop out the center where the seeds are with a spoon*** Brush the surface with a mixture of crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper*** Arrange halved grape tomatoes into the grooves, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes*** Remove and place diced fontina or mozzarella in between the tomatoes, place them back in, but now under the broiler til golden and bubbling***Remove and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of grated parmesan. You will love this as a side dish!


From: prouditaliancook.blogspot.comzuc4-1-1

Minted Cucumber Salad

By Jennifer Segal

Servings: 4-6
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 English (or hothouse) cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds, then cut into thin slices. Toss the cucumbers with the salt in a colander. Let drain in the sink for at least 30 minutes, then tap the colander on the base of the sink to release any remaining water. Lay a clean dish towel flat on the counter, and then dump the cucumbers over top. Use the edges of the towel to blot the cucumbers dry.
  2. Soak the red onions in a small bowl of ice water for ten minutes, then drain in a fine mesh strainer.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, onions, white wine vinegar, olive oil, vegetable oil, sugar, pepper and mint. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Serve cold! 

Mikey’s Bronto Burgers

That time of the year to roll out the grill & “burn” something! Using the WGG Web Store for the majority of the ingredients…One can eat very well & stay completely out of the food(?) aisles of Big Grocery!!

BRONTO BURGERS:

  • 1 LB grass-fed ground beef*
  • 1 LB sweet Italian pork sausage*
  • 2 cloves minced garlic*
  • 1 egg*
  • Minced Walla Walla onion*
  • Minced sweet red bell pepper*
  • Couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2-3 T of ketchup or BBQ sauce or hot sauce
  • (*) Items from WGG!

BURGER TOPPINGS & SIDES (In the WGG Web Store)

  • Head Lettuce
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Regular or flavored Cheddar Cheese
  • Britt’s Pickles or Kimchi
  • Gluten Free Hamburger Buns
  • Panino Rolls
  • Blueberry BBQ Sauce

ENJOY!! And THANKS for sourcing LOCAL!!

The Best Asparagus Recipes You Can Eat This Spring

Spring Greens Asparagus and Ricotta Pasta
serves 4 (From: foodiecrush.com)

1 pound spinach farfalle or penne pasta
1/2 pound asparagus spears, blanched and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup peas, blanched or thawed
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, blanched and drained of all water
1 cup ricotta fresca
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
4 tablespoons fruity olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup mint leaves, shredded
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and cook pasta to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to warm pan. Add asparagus, peas, spinach and mint.

2. In a small bowl mix olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest until well blended. Add to pasta and vegetables and combine. Garnish with ricotta fresca, parmesan and almonds and top with kosher salt and cracked pepper.

Bacon Wrapped Caramelized Sesame Asparagus
serves 4, is easily multiplied (From: howsweeteats.com)

1 bunch of asparagus, about 20-25 spears, stems removed
4 slices thick-cut bacon
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, whisk together oils, brown sugar and garlic. Set aside.

Bunch together 5-6 asparagus spears and tightly wrap a piece of bacon around the bundle. Place on the wire rack seam-side down and repeat. Using a pastry brush, a spoon or even your hands (I did this…), brush the spears thoroughly with the oil/sugar mixture. Give each bundle a hefty sprinkle of sesame seeds. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Serve warm.

Slow Butter Braised Asparagus   (From: steamykitchen.com)

A bunch of asparagus, hard part of stalks cut off
teaspoon of minced shallots and/or garlic
2-4 tablespoons of butter (depends on how much asparagus you have)
sea salt
squeeze of lemon
shaved parmesan

directions:
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add butter. When butter hot, add shallots/garlic, turn heat to low and fry until fragrant. 2. Add asparagus, cover with a tight-fitting lid (important -if lid isn’t tight, the steam escapes, you can try using a thin dishtowel under lid and fold ends up over the top of the lid to create a nice seal). Cook on low for 10-12 minutes, depending on how soft you like your asparagus. If your asparagus can’t all fit in one layer in your pan, stir a couple of times during the cooking process. After 8 minutes, take a peek. I usually can tell by cutting part of the stalk with a butter knife and adjust my cooking time.

If it looks like the pan needs more butter, feel free to add another tablespoon in, or just throw in a tablespoon of water. 3. When cooked to your liking, remove asparagus, pour the butter/shallot/garlic mixture over, sprinkle with sea salt, a squeeze of lemon and top with shaved parmesan.