Sometimes the simplest things make the most delicious dish. My husband Lulu planted Persian cucumbers this year and lately he's been harvesting 2-3 cucumbers a day. I love the flavor of Persian cucumbers and have had a lot of fun coming up with simple recipes that showcase them.
Salads are a great way to enjoy cucumbers and this recipe is no exception. Since cucumbers have a high water content, I salted them to draw out moisture for a crisp result. I paired them with roasted red bell peppers and seasoned the salad with a simple lemon and extra-virgin olive oil vinaigrette. I also sprinkled a few toasted pine nuts for texture and added fresh dill because this herb marries superbly with the vegetable.
This salad will be a hit at any picnic, pool party or barbecue. It tastes like summer!
Servings: 6 servings
8 Persian cucumbers
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 red bell pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
juice of half a lemon, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
Roasting the bell pepper: Stem and wash the bell pepper and pat dry. Place a grill on your stove and char the skin of the pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until you can handle it without discomfort. Clean the pepper using a knife; the skin will come right off. Seed it and cut the flesh into large chunks.
Prepping the pine nuts: Heat a small pan and dry toast the pine nuts until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside.
Prepping the cucumbers: Using a mandoline, cut the cucumbers in thin slices crosswise. Layer a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet, and place the cucumbers on top. Sprinkle with salt on both sides and let sit for 1 hour. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. Set aside.
For the dressing: Place the mustard, lemon juice, dill, olive oil and black pepper in a bowl. Whisk well.
Assembly time: Combine the cucumbers, bell peppers and pine nuts. Toss well. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables. Check seasoning.