Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tomato, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mint

Sometimes I come up with meals by picking an entree and then hunting around for a side dish of some sort to pair with it.  Sometimes the choice is quite obvious - with a stir-fry, serve rice, with a steak or roast chicken breast, serve salad.  Sometimes the choice is less obvious.  And every once in awhile, I find a side dish (or salad) that I want to make and then I have to figure out an entree to go with it.  For last night's dinner, I stumbled across this recipe, decided that I wanted to try it, and then started hunting for something Greek-inspired to go with it.  I briefly considered making gyros or souvlaki, but decided against it.  Then I thought about making some sort of chicken brochette, and promptly discarded that idea as well.  So I did what any internet savvy person would do and typed in "Greek" in Epicurious.  Eventually I came up with the Greek Grilled Cheese Sandwiches that we served last night.  Perfect.  We really don't make enough Greek food in this apartment, but this was a step in the right direction.i

This salad is everything that I love about cucumber salads - bright, fresh, and light.  It is incredibly summery.  My favorite thing about the salad was the mint.  With every bite you get these little bursts of delicious mint flavor that I just loved.  I guess you could substitute another herb if you don't like mint, but I am going to stick to the mint.  Also, If you don't love the taste of onion, or if your onion is just particularly fierce, then go ahead and soak the chopped onion in some cold water to lessen the bite.  And if you want to add another flavor/texture to the salad, you can go ahead and throw in a little chopped feta.  But go ahead and play around with this salad - have fun with it.  You might just discover your new favorite summer picnic dish.

Recipe after the jump!

Tomato, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mint
July 1999

2 large English hothouse cucumbers
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 large tomatoes, seeded, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons olive oil

Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise; scrape out seeds. Cut halves diagonally into 1/2-inch-wide pieces. Place in large bowl. Add vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour; toss occasionally.

Add tomatoes, red onion, mint and oil to cucumbers and toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper.

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