Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lemony Cucumber Salad

Cold fresh cucumbers with a bright acidic crunch are perfect for a summer salad like this one. It almost tasted like a pickled cucumber salad. The vinaigrette is so vibrant because of the lemon and vinegar used. My taste buds really enjoyed this one! I made this salad two weekends ago for a trip up to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. My fiance's parents have a boat there that we love visiting; although unfortunately our intense summer plans prevent that from happening more than twice a year. This salad ended up being a great side dish for a late lunch out on the water. Alongside this we ate Lime Cilantro marinated turkey tips, Potato Salad with sauteed leeks and Dijon mustard and Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies (those posts to come soon).

I was in Chicago on business the week before I made this recipe. Every work trip allows ample plane-time to thumb through cooking magazines. This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light's July 2011 magazine. I like bolder flavors so I enhanced the ingredients used in the vinaigrette. As this salad sits, it tends to extract more liquid that you will want. You just need to carefully drain the salad before serving. The cucumbers and radishes still soak up all the flavors you want though so no worries there!

1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup finely chopped orange bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Combine lemon rind and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour over cucumber mixture; toss well to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Serves 8.

I loved this salad for summer parties! It was easy to prepare because I had a mandolin slicer. I am sure cutting all of the vegetables by hand would have been fine but it would have lacked consistency in the shapes of the vegetables. The vinaigrette was a cinch to put together. I L-O-V-E anything with lemon zest in the ingredient list. The only problem with this salad is it is best served the day you prepare it or the day after. Any longer and it just gets more and more watery... and nobody likes a soupy salad. Tutti Mangia! 

 Here is a picture of Shaun and I out on the water that day... 
I'd like to go back to that peaceful day... 


Alex said...

this salad looks great! and perfect for summer!

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