It's summer and fresh produce time. Almost everyone knows how to make this first dish. It's a cross between a fresh pickle and a salad. Just in case you don't, our friend Burt Coppage of Miami has given me a recipe to print. Following his recipe are variations as listed.
Cucumber and Onion
From Burt Coppage
2 large cucumbers
1 large yellow onion
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
Peel cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds, and but into 1/2" thick slices. Place in a large bowl. Cut onions in half from stem to root. Peel, then slice thinly to form crescent-shaped pieces. Add to cucumbers.
Add vinegar, lemon juice and salt and serve immediately. Burt likes to add some chili and black pepper and let it sit for a little while.
Here's a variation from the Global Gourmet.
2 large cucumbers, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1 small chile pepper, seeded, minced
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Slice the cucumbers lengthwise and remove seeds with a melon baller or spoon. Slice each half into 1/2 inch pieces. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle on the salt. Toss gently and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain well.
Place the cucumbers in a serving bowl and add the chilies, lime juice, and garlic. Toss well. Cover and let salad sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Another one from the Global Gourmet has an oriental twist.
4 cucumbers, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Few drops Tabasco sauce
Slice cucumbers lengthwise. Sprinkle salt on cut sides, then place cut-side down on paper towels to drain. After 30 minutes, pat dry.
Slice cucumbers into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle on cucumbers and toss to coat. Let sit for 1 hour before serving.
Several European friends taught me to eat them this way.
Peel cucumbers. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut into thin slices. Combine with sour cream and black pepper and serve immediately.
Here's another variation:
By Mary Senft
Peel cucumber and slice very thin into bowl. Mix water, wine vinegar, salt, sugar, black pepper, olive oil and chives. Shake well and pour over cucumbers. Chill for one hour. Add more seasoning and garnish with paprika if desired before serving.
Thai Style Sweet & Sour Cucumber Salad
from Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large cucumber, about 12 ounces
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
In a small pan, bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a gentle boil. Simmer for about 2 minutes until the sugar and salt is fully dissolved and the mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and chill.
Peel cucumber and cut in half length-wise. Slice into 1/4 inch thick half-rounds. Add cucumber, onion, and cilantro to chilled syrup mixture and let sit about 15 minutes in the refrigerator. To serve, remove cucumber, onion and cilantro from the mixture with a slotted spoon.
1 large cucumber, coarsely grated
Mix the olive oil, vinegar and garlic in a small bowl. Add the yogurt, mixing well. Drain the grated cucumber and add to the yogurt; add the mint, salt and black pepper and mix again. Refrigerate for one to two hours . Serve chilled, garnished with a few black olives if you wish.
Korean Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi (Oi Sobagi)
from Flavours of Korea by Marc & Kim Millon
6 cucumbers (about 8 inches long)
3 Tablespoons salt
6 spring onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped
1 small Korean radish, cut into fine matchsticks
4 Tablespoons red pepper powder (ouch!)
1 Tablespoon sugar
Cut the cucumbers either in half (if small), or in thirds (if large). Stand each segment on its end, and cut a cross down each one almost to the base (but do not separate). Sprinkle the cucumbers with the salt, and rub well in. Cover and set aside for about 2 hours (the time this takes depends on factors such as humidity, moisture level in the cucumbers, and other such factors). They should be wilted, but still have a "snap" when bent.
When sufficiently salted, wipe off the excess salt, then pour boiling water over the cucumbers. Rinse well and refresh immediately in cold water. Mix together the spring onions, garlic, ginger, radish, red pepper powder, and sugar.
Wipe dry the cucumbers and stuff the mixture into the slits in each. Pack the stuffed cucumbers into sterile jars and cover tightly. Allow to stand in a cool, dark place for at least a day, then transfer to a refrigerator. Serve well chilled. These pickled cucumbers will last for at least a few days, but they are at their best before they go soft or mushy.
Copyright and reproduced by permission of Marc & Kim Millon at http://quaypress.com