Cucumbers dressed in a simple vinaigrette
Did you grow up in the sticks? With a bountiful garden, the fruits of which your mom would pickle and preserve, lining your cellar stairs with Ball jars filled with juiciness? Pickled cucumbers? Beets? Jams and jellies?
Sadly, my garden isn't what my mother's was back in the day. I'm trying, but I have yet to reach the stage where I have bounty to pickle and preserve. I'm at the staring-at-the-rocky-soil-wondering-if-anything-tasty-will-come-of-it stage.
Anyway, if you have a few cucumbers kicking around, try this simple way of serving them. It might not remind you of your childhood, as it does me, but it's a fast and refreshing way to pound some cukes.
(My mother cooked her vinaigrette on the stovetop, as I recall. And she didn't call it vinaigrette. Adapted from The Moosewood Collective's Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites cookbook, this recipe is much simpler.)
Simple Cucumber Side
2 medium cucumbers, peeled (That is, peel them if they're waxed. If not, do what you want with the peel; I used English cucumbers and left the skin on.)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground dried mustard
fresh cracked pepper to taste
Slice cucumbers as thinly as you can (I used a mandoline slicer —handy dandy). Set aside.
Make vinaigrette: Whisk together all other ingredients.
Add the cucumbers and toss enthusiastically to make sure all slices get coated. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. (Be sure to give cucumbers a good toss before serving.)