Friday, April 09, 2010
Ottolenghi's cucumber and poppy seed salad
Although the best tasting cucumbers will be available in July/August, then the cucumbers on sale at the moment aren't really so bad. So when I was looking for dishes to serve at our Easter Brunch table, this vivid green salad in Ottolenghi's book immediately caught my eye. The Ottoleghi guys recommend you make this with small cucumbers (sometimes called 'Lebanese cucumbers' in British recipes), but those won't be available until mid-summer. Until then, nice thin long ones will work as well.
I loved the colour, the piquancy of the dressing and the crunchiness of the poppy seeds. Again - suitable for gluten-free and lactose-free and vegan and vegetarian diets.
Cucumber and poppy seed salad
(Krõmpsuv kurgisalat krõmpsuvate mooniseemnetega)
Recipe from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (slightly adapted)
Serves 6 to 8 as part of a buffet
500 g fresh cucumber (about 2-3 long green cucumbers, choose slim ones with small seeds)
1 mild red chilli pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
3 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
4 Tbsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar (I used Prosecco vinegar)
5 Tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
2 Tbsp caster sugar
freshly ground black pepper
Wash the cucumbers, cut off the ends and discard. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, then cut into 1 cm slices at a slight angle. Place into a large bowl.
Add coriander leaves, vinegar, oil, poppy seeds and sugar, then season with salt and pepper. Use your hands to massage the flavours into the cucumbers. Taste for seasoning - you're aiming for a sweet and sharp taste sensation.