The weather is starting to heat up here (Orlando) already! One of my favorite warm weather treats is a chilled cucumber mint salad. I love cucumbers in general though. I have to say, they are one of my favorite foods and I think I could eat them every day. The warm weather just gives me an excuse to eat them more often. They pair wonderfully with mint, another cooling food.
The weather has been so warm lately that I harvested the first tomato from the plants on my porch this afternoon! I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and this seems normal to me, but a friend out in the Pacific Northwest informed me that they are just starting to think about planting this time of year.
It was a small tomato – only about 1.5″ in diameter. I sliced it into 4 little pieces just so I could savor the first fruit from my porch garden. This is a big deal for me. For as much as I love food and putting together recipes, I have not really done well keeping plants alive in the past. Hopefully, the trend will continue, and I will have some tomato recipes to share soon. 🙂
Back to cucumbers… I’ve got some cucumbers started in the “garden” too, which I lovingly refer to as my “porch jungle”, but they aren’t ready just yet. I guess I should get on with the cucumber and mind salad recipe. It’s so easy to prepare as a quick and light appetizer to accompany a summer meal.
- 1 English cucumber - chop it how you like (thinly sliced, cubed, etc.)
- 1/4 sweet onion - chop it how you like (thinly sliced, cubed, etc.)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 lime - cut into quarters
- 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Chop the cucumber, sweet onion, and mint leaves. Toss them together in a bowl.
- Divide into quarters on plates or in bowls. Fancy it up if you'd like!
- Sprinkle each plate with a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper.
- Squeeze a quarter wedge of lime onto each plate.
- Drizzle with olive oil. Use an herb infused olive oil (e.g. basil) for a little something extra.
- This salad also pairs well with goat cheese if you have an omnivore in your family that isn't ready to give up dairy.
- A simple oil and vinegar will also work well if you do not have limes.
- A cucumber rose (pictured) is a nice artistic touch if you want to make your presentation a little more special.
- Slice your cucumbers using a diagonal angle so that the pieces come out longer.
- The cucumbers should be paper thin - you can achieve this with a mandolin at 1/16" or 1.5mm.
- Roll one slice very tight in the center, and then wrap other pieces around it.
- Secure with a toothpick.
- If it is too tall, you can slice some off one end. This also helps it to lay flat on the plate.