Recipe: Chinese Cucumber Salad
One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Kristen Jovanelly, garden educator and manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.
I’ve harvested many, many pounds of cucumbers over the past couple of weeks. The rain this season has resulted in massive plants with loads of happy, crunchy cukes sprawled out below. So what does one do when they have 60 campers coming for lunch and bins of cucumbers in the cooler? Make a salad! Cukes are, of course, the darlings of pickling, but they can soak up enough flavor in half an hour to give a zing of taste to the best last-minute summer dinner decision you’ll ever make.
Upon making this dish you may hear murmurings of “Cucumber salad? You mean cucumbers in the salad…” Don’t be dissuaded. The sweet crunchy cucumbers pair perfectly with the mouthwatering dressing, especially when marinated for at least 30 minutes. They’re a perfect accompaniment to any meal, particularly outside under a fading summer sun.
Chinese Cucumber Salad
Serves 4 - 6
3 cucumbers, peeled and de-seeded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoons dark sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1. Cut cucumbers into thin half moons. Sprinkle generously with salt and let cucumbers sit in a colander, over the sink, for 10-15 minutes.
2. Combine garlic, ginger, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce in a large bowl. Add cucumbers and toss until well combined. Fold in cilantro, scallions, and salt and pepper to taste.