Tag Archives: cucumber

Israeli Cucumber Salad

Cooler Than a Fucking…Well, You Know

This salad is too cool for school – it just stares you down like it’s the reason that your life is spectacular and you should adore it as such.  The recipe is wicked simple – just a little chopping and a light vinaigrette of olive oil and lemon juice to hold it all together.  It’s versatility, though, is the selling point – meaning that you can serve it with any and all things grilled or top it with feta or mix in some orzo and BAM BOOM, you’ve got yourself a new dish and a new recipe to save for the treasure trove.  Don’t thank me – thank the Olive Tree Cafe for the inspiration.  They hooked me on the stuff and I had to craft a similar recipe for myself. Continue reading Israeli Cucumber Salad

Lemony Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt with Cucumber and Mint)

One of my absolute favorite aspects of food blogging is being able to float down the rabbit hole (a la Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, and not the more macabre connotations of the expression) of food histories.  Maybe I get the desire from my mother, an expert etymologist and language expert.  Or from my father, the history buff with a memory like a steel trap for facts and figures of all kinds.  For whatever reason, I seem to approach all of my posts similarly – dig through my personal recipe book for dishes that I’ve been cooking for years, wade through the memories that accompany them, and then circle back on the actual history and general origins of the dish.  It always leads me to these tangential thoughts that are as much a delight for me as I hope they are for you, dear reader. Continue reading Lemony Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt with Cucumber and Mint)

Simple Tabbouleh

Despite my undying love for New York City and all of its glories, I hate that sunshine there is at a premium.  With much of the year swathed in gray, there’s something endlessly appealing about the 364 days of sunshine that Phoenix has to offer.  I’ll probably never truly fit in here on the left coast (I’m an out-and-out East coast ex-pat, who bleeds 100% DC love when cut), but lemme just say that when Cali kids speak of their junkie-esque need for light on the regular, I kind of get it.  My move out here to the lawless desert has provided me with blissful sunshine and true blue skies that could cure the seasonally depressed in an instant, and I’m totally hooked.

Nothing speaks more to my adjustment to the bright perfection out here in AZ than my urges to whip up all sorts of cold salads.  From chilled pastas and crisp veggies sopping up vinaigrettes, to a simple toss of fresh berries, splashes of liquer and a chiffonade of mint, these chilled dishes keep my kitchen cool and my mood light.  Tabbouleh is a favorite of mine – this herby salad is a quick accompaniment to grilled meats, a homey companion on a mezze platter of hummus and olives, or a throw together potluck favorite that pairs up with any and everything on the buffet line.  Best of all, it’s a throw-together dish that is forgiving in terms of time – you can prep it ahead or even serve it right away.  Arabic for “little spicy,” tabbouleh is the marriage of tart, spicy, savory and sweet – all that you want for a cool summer supper. Continue reading Simple Tabbouleh

Sesame Cucumbers

I love this recipe for a multitude of reasons – in true Shakespearean style, let me count the ways…

  1. In an almost atavistic longing for my childhood, you remind me of the Pickled Broccoli Stems that I could eat in heaps and heaps at the now closed Chinese restaurant, Hsiang Foong, or as we called it, “The Foong”.  You were later replaced with El Pollo Rico, another love of mine, but I digress.
  2. PF Changs sells you for way too much money, but with a bit of change and a few minutes, I can make a far superior version of you in every way.
  3. You are so friggin’ easy to make.

Make this as a side dish for a dumpling feast, or as an appetizer for your next FU to Chinese takeout, whereby you prepare a fresh meal without all the MSG, overcooked veggies, oversauced meat and stale fortune cookies (fortune and all).  Your tummy will thank you.

Recipe for

Sesame Cucumbers

1 english cucumber (called seedless or hothouse)
2 tbs. of sesame oil
4 tbs. of rice wine vinegar
4 tbs. of water
1 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of sugar
1 tsp. black sesame seeds
1 tsp. white sesame seeds
dash of chili oil (optional)

Slice your cucumber into thin, 1/4 in. rounds and place in a bowl.  Add all other ingredients and stir gently.  Let sit in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and then serve.