Cucumber salad

So, the next things that were ready from the garden were cucumbers. Big ‘uns. One exceed two feet in length. We acquired the cucumber vine as a gift from a neighboring gardener. From the resulting cukes and a little internet search, I now know that these were Japanese cucumbers: long, skinny and spiky. Oh and tasty, too.

This is as opposed to the English cucumber, which is shorter, stouter and smoother. It also has the added benefit of not giving sensitive people gas, so is also called the ‘burpless’ cucumber.

Then there is the Kirby or Persian cucumber, which is about half the length of the English, but about the same width. Or as a dear friend put it, ‘such a chode.’

Anyhoo, our cucumber vine has nicely taken over the pea trellis, after the heat killed the sugar peas (which were delicious sauteed in olive oil, lemon juice and cracked pepper). I didn’t know what to do until I went to the Eno Festival and had the fresh pickles served by the Barbecue Joint. I decided to improvise a quick cucumber salad with what I had in my planters at home and a little more internet research.

3 Japanese cucumbers
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
3/4 sugar
1/4 cup off dry Riesling
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 radishes, minced
1/2 handful fresh mint
1/2 handful fresh basil
a few dashes of cayenne pepper

Combine everything but cukes in saucepan. Heat on low and stir until sugar dissolves. Put in freezer to cool. Slice cukes however you like (more surface area=less cuke-y flavor, more dressing flavor) and place in a short wide tupperware with a good lid. When mixture cools, pour over the cukes and shake well. Place in fridge for 5 min. Give another good shake. Place in fridge for another 5 minutes. One last shake and it seemed pretty good.


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