Growing up I was a picky eater. I remember on more than one occasion being held back at the table because I didn’t finish my plate. So I’d sit and wait until everything was quiet and then I’d fill up my napkin with the offending food item and flush it down the toilet. Good riddance. Tomatoes made me gag. Raw onions were disgusting. Jello still makes my skin crawl. Don’t even let me think about melons. Cucumbers have always been on the oh-hells-no list. But then things began to change. A few years ago I was fine with a slice in my sandwich. It provided crunch and a subtle freshness that I appreciated. And then, I made tzatziki and a creamy dill salad and I was slowly coming around to its charms. It became a regular in other salads and as a dipper for hummus.
So now I can say with a clear heart and head that I’ve made progress on the formally hated food front. And I can provide a tip if you aren’t a cucumber fan either and want to become friends: when you cut into your cuke, scrape out the seeds with a spoon. That’s it. That watery mess is the equivalent of a textural heebee-jeebee and has no business near your salad.
Now, let’s get to this salad because it’s a good one. I whipped up a lovely Sunday lunch recently of roasted potatoes, breaded baked sole and steamed spinach, but I wanted a bit more flavour on the plate. This salad came to the rescue and provided a nice tart bite. The lemon shines and the dressing is tart but balanced with a bit of honey (though agave syrup would be a lovely substitution for a vegan salad). If I had fresh dill, I probably would have tossed some over top, but this salad needed no extra help.
elsewhere: At Poppytalk last week I made a rice noodle salad with shrimp and vegetables.
lemon, onion & cucumber salad
1/2 english cucumber
1/4 small onion, sliced thinly
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 t honey
salt & pepper
Cut the cucumber in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds if desired. Me, I scrape ‘em out every time. Slice into thin half moons and place in a serving bowl. Add the thin slices of onion to the bowl along with the lemon zest.
To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper in a small lidded jar. Shake until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour over salad, toss, and serve.