Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cucumber Salad -- It's Like Pickles!

Megan's boyfriend Eric sent me to the New York Times when he heard I wasn't feeling much like cooking these days. Let me take a moment away from this blog's focus on me to say "thank you" to Eric. The story, by Mark Bittman and called 101 Simple Salads for the Season, is really a list of easy salads that don't involve a lot of standing over the hot stove while it's 100 degrees outside. Bittman reassured me that no one wants to cook soup right now, no one wants a stew, and even though every vegetable and fruit is currently at its peak, all anyone wants is to eat a cold watermelon and spit the seeds as far as they can.
The story is especially good because it gave me a nice list of things to make with the overabundance of cucumbers I currently have growing in my mess of a yard (which thankfully, has been mowed). I was wrong about the cucumbers floundering, it's actually the zucchinis that are struggling along and the cucumbers that are growing a vine up the side of the house. Much to my disappointment. I love zucchini, but the only thing I love about cucumbers are pickles. I cucumbers alright, but we're not in love. But pickles, well, we have quite the romantic history. Fortunately, number 3 on Bittman's list of salads involves cucumbers marinated in vinegar and Dijon mustard, so like pickles without the pain of canning. Cucumber Salad: by Mark Bittman 1 cucumber, thinly sliced 1/4 red onion, julienned (so cut into matchsticks) salt pepper 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Combine sliced cucumbers and julienned onion with salt and pepper and let sit for 20 to 60 minutes. In a small bowl, combine mustard and vinegar until smooth. Pour over salad and toss to coat.

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