A cool summer salad, and a vegan option too!
In the summer, cucumbers are abundant and serve as a base for a wide variety of tasty and cooling dishes. Chilled soups, refreshing drinks, sandwiches, and many salads, not to mention pickles!
We love the traditional tzatziki dip which combines grated cucumbers, yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice and a little oil. But if you don’t want to bury the beautiful cucumbers in the dressing, change things just a little to make this dish more of a plated salad.
A quick pickle!
A quick pickle of a purple onion adds a little more zing to this salad, and I swapped out the lemon for a nice juicy lime. Salting and draining the cucumbers removes a tremendous amount of liquid from the cucumbers which keeps them from weeping into the yoghurt while it sits, and also concentrates the cucumber flavor. You will rinse the salt off.
In this case, I used a cashew yoghurt, but you can also use coconut or dairy. Just look for plain, unsweetened.
A little tang, a little sour, a little sweet, and a little heat. All adjusted to your own liking.
Cucumber Salad with Lime Yoghurt
- 1 English Cucumber
- 1 tbsp. salt
For the pickles:
- 1 purple onion, sliced into thin rings
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. agave syrup
For the yoghurt:
- 1 ½ cup plain, unsweetened plant or dairy yoghurt
- 1 tsp. agave syrup
- Zest and juice of one lime
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Sriracha, or favorite hot sauce, to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Greens and flowers to garnish, optional
- A few minced herbs of choice
- Extra virgin olive oil
Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds. I used a mandoline, but you can also use a sharp knife. If you want to make the rounds a little more decorative, scrape the sides of the cucumber with the tines of a fork vertically, all around, which makes tiny score lines around the edge. Optional, but fun.
Place the cucumbers in a mesh strainer over a bowl and sprinkle with a hefty tablespoon of salt. Let this sit for an hour.
Now make the pickles. Cut the onion into thin rings, or strips, your choice. Place in a bowl. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, and syrup. Bring to a simmer and pour over the onions. Let this sit for an hour too.
Once the cucumbers have drained, rinse them in water to remove the salt, and place on toweling to dry.
Combine the yoghurt, agave, lime zest and juice, garlic, hot sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
Place greens on a large platter, and make a puddle in the middle with the yoghurt
Arrange the cucumbers on top, (if you are pressed for time, just mound them) and add the onion rings and any garnishes you like. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.
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