Summer Salad

We recently moved back into our house after seven months of renovations where we completely gutted our main floor and added a second storey to our once bungalow. As part of the renovations we wanted to upgrade our electrical service, but as we are at the mercy of the hydro company to do this, we initially weren’t able to hook up our air conditioner. Usually not a big deal at this time of year, it is, of course, heating up. I recognize that this is most certainly a #firstworldproblem, but it leads me to my reasoning for choosing to post about this particular recipe today.

Salads in the summer appeal to me for a couple reasons: I don’t like heating my house any more than I have to and I don’t often feel like having a heavy meal when it’s hot outside.

Enter the Cucumber Salad with Soy, Ginger and Garlic recipe from NYT Cooking. It’s fantastic. FANTASTIC. It’s easy to make, light, and tasty.

The most difficult aspect of the entire recipe is thinly slicing the cucumbers (you’ll need two) equally. I’ve used a mandolin and straight up knife skills when making this and could not decide if one was better than the other as they both present challenges. After you’ve sliced ’em, toss the slices in a colander and season generously with salt to help leach all the liquid out of them. Let the slices sit for a bit to remove as move of the liquid as possible.

While you’re leaching the water from the cucumbers, get to work on the rest. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the following:

  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • A heaping tsp of both minced garlic and minced fresh ginger
  • At least 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper, but a little more is nice
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp of sunflower oil

Add to your “dressing” a bunch of thinly sliced green onions and a good handful of chopped cilantro, if that’s your thing. I’ve made it without for those less partial to the aromatics of cilantro and it was equally well received.

Slicing the cucumbers is pretty much the most involved part of this recipe, so it rates at about a 1 on the hassle scale…especially since it tastes so damn good.

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