Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Egyptian Cucumber Salad
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I LOVE our new CSA. On Saturday, we picked up two zucchini, a cucumber, some garlic, a huge bag of new potatoes, a head of cabbage and two huge bags of basil. Then, we went to the Broad Ripple Farmers Market and got some kale and komatsu from Seldom Seen Farms and a tomato from another vendor and a box of strawberries from another.
Six entrees and ten sides were on the menu brainstorming list for the week. But,they didn't all play together well. So, I numbered all the entrees and lettered all the sides and started pairing them up. The duck ragu wound up the a salad I'd made up with cucumbers, zucchini, red onion, cherry tomatoes, basil, feta, Sicilian lemon balsamic and extra virgin olive oil. Then, I started reading Best American Recipes 2005-2006 and found the Egyptian Cucumber Salad. It was very similar to the one I'd planned but instead of basil it had dill and mint. That was an interesting twist. And, one I wanted to try. Not only that, it was originally from one of my favorite cookbook authors - Joann Weir and her from Tapas to Meze coookbook.
What did we think? This was fantastic. It's very refreshing. The feta, lemon balsamic and evoo make an incredible dressing. The dill and mint add such a different taste. Since we'll probably get a lot of zucchini and cucumbers from the CSA this year, we'll undoubtedly be making this again. Not only that, but it was equally good the next day for lunch. I did make a couple of changes. Shocking, I know. I cut down on the herbs by half and that's reflected in the recipe below. I added the zucchini and switched Sicilian Lemon Balsamic from Artisano's for the lemon juice called for in the recipe. If you don't have lemon balsamic, I'd use half white balsamic and half lemon juice to soften the edges a bit.
Egyptian Cucumber Salad
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 T chopped fresh mint
1/2 T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 T chopped fresh dill
5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 T Sicilian Lemon Balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T Extra virgin olive oil
Mix the cucumber, onion, zucchini and herbs together well.
Crumble the feta over the top of the vegetables. Drizzle the vinegar and olive oil over the feta.
Toss well. A lot of the feta will turn into a wonderful dressing. But, don't toss the salad until all the little chunks of feta are gone! Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and sprigs of dill.