Three Cucumber Salads

Cucumber Salad

Why three cucumber salads in one post? Because I got 15 pounds of cucumbers from the Food Bank’s Harvest Share program and cucumbers do not keep that well without some vinegar. So, I spent a long time slicing and dicing and mixed up three huge salads. Two of them based on my mom’s delicious old-fashioned cucumber salad.

This is mom’s recipe. Slice your cucumbers no more than 1/4 inch thick. I used a mandoline and easily sliced wafer thin slices. Layer the slices in a container with high sides, lightly salting between layers. I used Glad’s 13 cup family size container which held about 8 -10 large cucumbers, sliced. I put a sheet of wax paper over the container and set my cast iron fry pan on top of the wax paper and then put my tea kettle on top of that so it was weighted down heavily. I left it for a few hours and came back to add the dressing.

After two hours, I dumped the cucumbers into a big colander and let them drain. Rinsing the Glad container to get the saltiness out, I mixed the dressing right in the container while the cukes drained. I used 2 cups of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 TBSP of dill weed, 1 tsp of garlic salt, and 2 tsp of celery seed.  I squeezed the juice out of the cucumbers, added them back into the container with the dressing and refrigerated overnight so they absorbed back the fluid I had drawn out with salt. Now they are saturated with a fresh dill flavor that has a mild bite. Makes 10 cups of salad.

Cucumber Salad

I only made about 7 cups of this salad because I used oil so it won’t last as long. To make it I cut the cucumbers into 4-6 inch long lengths that I shredded on the mandoline, making threads of cucumber. I also sliced and diced finely two purple onions. I salted and let rest for about an hour. Squeezing out the excess, I grated the zest of two limes over the salad, mixing it in. Then,  squeezed the lime juice into a sauce bowl for the dressing. I added 3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar, 1/4 cup light olive oil, 2 TBSP of soy sauce, salt, pepper, and 2 tsp of red pepper flakes. I poured on top of the cucumber and onions, shook and let sit to absorb flavors for a few hours. This is a spicy, tangy salad with that delicious earthy tang of limes and the heat of peppers.  It’s delicious on a sandwich with pulled pork. Makes six cups of salad.

Cucumber Salad

These are pepper-salted cucumber slices, also a recipe from my mom. As before, I sliced the cucumbers, layering with salt until I filled the 13 cup container. I added weight on top of them and let them sit for two hours to draw out the liquid. I drained them in a colander, squeezing out all the liquid I could.

In the 13 cup plastic container, I added 2 cups of vinegar, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 TBSP of pepper. I mixed together, Added the cucumber and let it soak up the vinegar overnight. This has a fresh vinegary taste with a bit of bite from the pepper, fresh and cool followed by just a bit of heat. Makes 10 cups.

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Fruit Fusion Gumbo

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I asked friends to suggest names for this one. It’s a delicious fruit salad made with plums and cucumber which are botanically a fruit.

So I cut up a cucumber and 3 plums. There were two different kinds of plums, hence the different colors. I chopped up about 2 TBSP of yellow onion. Dumped them all in a plastic container and then made a dressing.

Dressing: Mix together. Buckwheat honey takes a long time to mix in but keep at it, it will dissolve. You can add more vinegar if you like. There is no olive oil or anything so it’s not a vinaigrette. It just seems to me that the juices in the fruit really do not need oil. Pour the dressing on the fruit. Put the lid on the bowl and shake it up. Refrigerate  for an hour or so and it will be delicious.

  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp of chile powder
  • 2 tsp of mustard
  • 2 tsp of buckwheat honey and
  • rice vinegar, about 1/4 cup

 

This made 6 servings. There are things that get better and better the longer they sit, so making a single serving would be silly.

Cucumber Grape Salad

Grape Cucumber Salad

This is a simple, fresh salad that took minutes to prepare.

I peeled and cut one cucumber into small pieces and cut 1 cup of grapes into halves. I added about 1 tbsp of finely sliced onions and 2 tbsp of finely sliced cilantro. Adding a bit of salt and pepper, 1 TBSP of sour cream and 1 TBSP of rice wine vinegar and stirred it all up.

The blend of sweet grapes, tangy onion and the springlike freshness of cucumber and cilantro is fabulous and irresistible. It make  4 servings, but good luck not eating it all.

Cucumber, Radish and Feta Salad

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I chopped 1/2 of a cucumber, 2 radishes, about 2 tbsp red onion and mixed with 1/2 cup of feta cheese. Adding about 6 leaves of fresh mint chopped up fine, I added 2 TBSP of vinegar and mixed it altogether for a quick and easy salad.

This is a fresh, light salad with a bit of zing from the mint and the radish and lots of creaminess from the feta. This made 4 small servings.

Cucumber & Potato Soup

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Well, WordPress ate all the text, so I am reposting. This is a delicious and subtle soup that can be thrown together in 20 minutes, perfect for a lazy lunch.

Peel and dice 2 potatoes. Toss in a soup kettle with 2 cups of water and let boil until tender.

Meanwhile, peel and dice one medium cucumber or half an english cucumber. Scoop out the seeds before chopping. Dice up one or two green onions – totally depends on your love of onion. It adds a bit of bite and I like it so I used two. I also prepped 1 cup of milk from nonfat dry milk powder. You can use regular milk. I just use milk so seldom that I never buy milk and mix up what I need.

When the potatoes are tender, remove from heat and mash. You can use a blender or chinois or simply elbow grease. I mashed. Then I whisked in 1 TBSP of butter to give it some fat – since I am using nonfat milk. You can also use cream if you want richer soup. Add the cucumbers and onions and return to heat on medium and let cook about 5 minutes until tender. Add 1 tsp of dill weed and 2 TBSP of feta. The feta is completely optional. I like the sourness it adds. You can also get sourness by using buttermilk, but believe me, if I don’t keep milk on hand, I also don’t keep buttermilk on hand. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste and serve.

This makes 2 bowls, but soup always tastes better reheated, so you want that second bowl. It has delicious earthiness from the potatoes with a freshness from the cucumbers and dill, while the onions add zest and the feta adds a sourness that is so good with the creamy milk potato goodness of the broth.

Sauteed Arctic Cod with Cucumber Salad

Sauteed Arctic Cod with Cucumber Salad

I washed the cucumber and sliced it thinly on a mandoline. I took half a sweet onion and did the same. I chopped a tomato into small pieces. Tossed in a bit of vinegar and some salt and pepper and a 1/4th of a dried chili pepper and called it tasty.

For the torsk or Arctic cod, I melted 1/2 TBSP of butter in a saute pan. I added the cod fillet and cooked lightly on one side. Turning it over, I grated fresh  nutmeg over the fish. I know most folks think of nutmeg for baking, but nutmeg is so delicious on cod. Nothing tastes better than the piquant bite of nutmeg,  but be sure it’s fresh  nutmeg. I think the reason most people only use nutmeg for baking is that they are using the mild, dry and not nearly so tasty ground nutmeg in a jar.

It cooks quickly, serve it with the remaining butter in the pan and the salad on the side.

Tortellini Primavera & Cucumber-Lettuce Salad

Zucchini & Tortellini with Cucumber Dressing Salad

I started the salad the night before when I had decided to make a raita. Unfortunately, I had already diced one cucumber and one medium onion before I noticed that I was out of plain yogurt. I decided to take another approach and poured about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 tsp of dill weed on it, mixed it up and put it in the fridge. The next day, I took a bite, decided it needed a bit of softening and added a tbsp of mayonnaise and put it back until supper.

For the tortellini, I cut up and onion and sauteed it in olive oil with a clove of garlic. I added some fresh tarragon and let that cook with the onion and garlic. I put a pan of hot water on to boil After the onions softened, I cut up a zucchini and a summer squash and added them. I let them cook for about 5 minutes and added about 1.5 chopped fresh tomatoes. By now the hot water was boiling, so I tossed in a couple handfuls of tortellini. When they all floated, I strained the tortellini and stirred them into the vegetables and served.

While the tortelli boiled, I cut up a few leaves of romaine and tossed with the cucumber dressing. It was delicious and I will make it on purpose in the future. I loved the bite of the onion and vinegar with the creamy fresh cucumber, dill and mayo. Really an amazing new dish. The tortellini was tasty and savory with the fresh spring flavors of a primavera.

Remix: Mjadra and Cucumber Salad Reworked

Taking the last of the beef roast and slicing it up into nice bite-size pieces, I mixed it in with the mjadra and reheated it all in a skillet to give some nice crispness to it. I took the cucumber salad I made and added sliced baby carrots and served up the remaining veggies. There’s plenty of spicy vinegar sauce left over that I will use to pickle some carrots for tomorrow.  Hmmm, if I had some fresh broccoli and cauliflower, I would make a pickled salad. Oh well, some other day.

Torsk with Two Salads & Grapes

I poached the torsk for dinner tonight in order to skip the olive oil since I had such a big lunch. I just heated some water in the skillet with about a teaspoon of chopped onions and when the water was hot, I added the torsk. I still used lots of nutmeg. If you have never put nutmeg on cod, you have no idea what you are missing! I added a serving of the Cabbage salad and the cucumber salad and some green grapes.

Beef/Olive Sandwich, Cucumber Salad and Pineapple

I made the cucumber salad early this morning because it needs to marinate a bit to begin tasting as good as it can. I sliced one cucumber as thinly as I can. (I don’t have a mandoline.) I also sliced up about 1/8 of a medium onion. I layered the cucumber slices with onion and salted it and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then I added white vinegar almost to the top of the stacks of cucumber (about a cup) and 1 TBSP of sugar, and one crumbled up dried red chili. Use the smallest dried chili you have so it doesn’t overwhelm the cucumber. In a few hours, the chili will be soft and tender and the flavor will have married. The cool, fresh cucumber contrasting with the heat of the chili is tasty!

For lunch I was hungrier than usual as I ate breakfast at 6 AM and then didn’t make lunch until 2:30 PM. A bad idea when you’re diabetic. I put two thin unbuttered buns on the griddle to toast. I don’t like bread to overwhelm my food so I love the thin buns. I sliced up about 2 TBSP of onion, sliced up about 3/4 cup of beef roast. I put a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, added the onion and let them soften. I then added the beef. While the beef cooked, I chopped up 15 olives and 1 slice of cheese. I added the olives and stirred them around before adding the cheese and letting it melt into the mix. I put the Beef on the toasted buns and plated with fresh pineapple chunks and a serving of the cucumber salad.