Monday, 11 February 2008

C is for Cucumber

Another one of those – is it a vegetable or a fruit? Because of the reproductive seeds, it is botanically a fruit, just like the tomato, but don’t ever expect to discover them in the fruit section of your local supermarket. Oddly enough, cucumber slices are employed as a beauty treatment in spas by being placed on the eyes surrounded by facial mud packs. Whether this affords any beneficial effects, other than providing moments of visual relief from stress, I do not know. If you opt to try the eye patch custom, I advise disposing of the leftovers rather than reusing them in cooking! But don’t consider cucumber as only a salad item, also consider: pickles, sushi, grilled, in sandwiches, tzatziki, and relishes are a few other ways to make use of this ‘vegetable’. That being said I’m awfully partial to Greek salad, with the delightful combination of red onion and cucumber, as a tasty break from lettuce based dishes.

  • Tomatoes                        3 medium
  • Cucumber                       ½ English hot house
  • Sweet green pepper      ½
  • Red onion                        ½
  • Feta cheese                     ½ cup crumbled
  • Kalamata olives              16 pitted
Dressing.     Combine 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 clove minced garlic, pinch of sea salt, ½ teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Whisk together until well mixed.

Slice tomatoes into ½” wedges. No need to peel or seed the English cukes, slice in ½ lengthwise and cut into ¼” half moons. Coarsely chop green pepper into bite sized ½” chunks. Thinly slice red onion and separate into rings. Toss together with olives and dressing. Sprinkle feta cheese on top.

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