Monday, July 5, 2010

Cucumbers in Vinaigrette & More

Now that I’m getting used to Grenville’s victory garden ckbkdaily harvest of cukes – OK well maybe used to isn’t quite right, but it has me looking for cuke recipes continues. This weekend, I went to one of my favorite cookbooks, The Victory Garden Cookbook by Mariann Morash (1982). (More about this book in an upcoming post.)

Salted and drained cukes reduce in volume, so you need to use more cucumbers than with a standard garden salad – a good thing for when you have excess cukes (which as you may have heard we do)
  • 2-4 small to medium cukes
  • Kosher (or sea) salt
Trim ends from cukes, peel (or not), score with a fork and half lengthwise to scoop out seeds – if needed. Thinly slice cukes in rounds. Toss with salt, use ½ to 1 tsp for every 4 cups. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. Press out moisture; then toss with dressing.
Vinaigrette:  Use half vegetable oil and half olive oil or a lighter olive oil if you want a lighter version.cuke salad stuff070510
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped (optional) or ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ C Dijon mustard
  • 9 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper
cuke salad070510Mash garlic and salt together. Stir in vinegar and mustard (if using). Gradually beat in oil and grind pepper.
Yield 2/3 cup – enough for salad serving 10-12 people).

Variation: An egg white beaten and whisked into vinaigrette helps hold dressing onto vegetables.
Lemon vinaigrette: Replace wine vinegar with lemon juice.
Soy Sauce: Mix 2-3 tbsp of soy sauce with 4 tbsp white vinegar and 1 tsp sugar.
Lemon Juice: Toss 3-4 tbsp lemon juice with 1-2 tsp sugar and chopped red onions (or shallots). Toss with chopped parsley or dill.
Mayonnaise: dilute mayonnaise with equal parts sour cream, yogurt or whipped heavy cream. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and fresh chopped herbs.
Yogurt: place 2 C yogurt in sieve and drain in refrigerator for 2 hours until dry. Mash 1 clove garlic with ½ tsp salt, add 1 tbsp lemon juice, beat in 2 tbsp olive oil. Mix with yogurt, stir in chopped dill (basil or parsley) season to taste.

Summer Salads – Perfect for HOT weather


Lois Evensen said...

Yummy stuff, once again. :) Tonight I get to take the evening off from cooking. #2 son is coming over with his four kids while #1 daughter is doing the grilling. Life is good. :)

Krista said...

Oh... ma... goodness that sounds delish! I'll be over in half an hour. LOL!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Lois, your dinner sounds like a great plan. Our tonight was getting together with the neighbors and sharing leftovers. We brought ratatouille, coleslaw and the cukes in vinaigrette, plus a few ribs. Neighbors had fresh tomatoes, home made potato salad, chicken wings. Then afterwards a rousing couple of rounds of Catch-Phrase (run game!).Life in indeed good when shared - the same as leftovers.

Sure Krista, you are MORE than welcome anytime. And yes the cuke salad was good - even the neighbors pet dogs liked the leftover cukes!

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