Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Creamy Summer Salad for your Winter BBQ

It may be cold out there, but I've been dreaming in barbeque land. Warm days hanging out in the park or backyard, drinking beer while someone other than me mans the grill munching on burgers, corn and cool creamy salads. Well, until Mother Nature decides to cooperate with my warm weather dreams, I decided to feed a little bit of that BBQ nostalgia. Inspiration came from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ms. Ina Garten…coupled with the fact I had a lonely English cucumber sitting in my frige waiting for something fun to do.

Now English cucumbers (also referred to as hothouse cucumbers or seedless cucumbers, which by the by is kind of a misnomer as they do in fact have seeds) are my favorite kind of cucumber. They come all dressed up in a little sheath of plastic which means grubby hands of other shoppers are less likely to infiltrate my cucumber delight. They also have less seeds than their peers. And their skin is less waxy so I never peel these guys. Here they are mixed with tangy Greek yogurt, a touch of sour cream and fresh dill for a cool, creamy summer salad.

So break out that indoor grill, put up a heating lamp (we can pretend can’t we) and add this creamy cucumber salad to your next indoor BBQ.

Creamy Cucumber Salad
(Adapted from Ina Garten)
  • 4 hothouse cucumbers, thinly sliced (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced in half rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) plain whole-milk greek yogurt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Slice the cucumbers and onion. Any way you like is fine. If you shy away from big bites of onion, definitely cut those as thin as possible and you can always use less or more as desired.
Mix the cucumbers, red onions, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt in a bowl. Pour them into a colander and suspend it over a bowl. Wrap the bowl and colander with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to drain for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the bowl.

Pour the yogurt into a sieve lined with a paper towel and suspend it over another bowl. Wrap the bowl and sieve in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the second bowl. (Note: I did not in fact do this step. I found using greek yogurt might actually negate the need for this step BUT if you want to take a stab at it, let me know how it turns out.)
When the cucumbers are ready, roll them up in paper towels or a kitchen towel and press the towel lightly to remove most of the liquid. Place the cucumbers and yogurt in a large bowl with the sour cream, vinegar, dill, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. Toss well and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.
Taste for seaoning. If needed, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and serve chilled.

No comments:

Post a Comment