06 May 2011

Tart & Sweet

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?

I did.

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.)

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