Summertime and the cooking is easy. It should not involve turning on the oven if I can help it.
Salads are almost always my solution to “what food will I make?”.
This is another recipe from Jamie Oliver, whose salads always taste great.
Start by making the ginger dressing.
Here’s the lemongrass.
And the grated ginger.
Because I am in a chopping mood, get the cilantro,
and the mint,
and chop them too.
Find a small mason jar (or any jar with a lid) and pour in the olive oil.
Add the rice vinegar.
Add the sugar.
Get the ginger and lemongrass into the jar, plus the salt and pepper (some of the herbs snuck in. It did not affect the taste.)
Put the lid on the jar and shake it.
Okay! The dressing is ready, now build the salad.
Using a vegetable peeler, slice long strips from the cucumber.
Sprinkle the chopped mint and cilantro over the cucumber, then add the dressing.
Sprinkle some soy sauce on and serve the salad.
Japanese Cucumber Salad.
Refreshing, hydrating and delicious. Plus the dressing can be used on other salads if you have leftovers.
Here’s the recipe:
Japanese Cucumber Salad
For the ginger dressing
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated or cut into very fine slivers
1 stick lemongrass, outer leaves removed, inner ones finely chopped (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
A few drops of soy sauce, to taste
For the cucumber salad
3 kirby cucumbers or 1 large cucumber, unpeeled but rinsed
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped or left whole
A handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped or ripped into pieces
Make the ginger dressing
Mix everything together in a bowl. Taste and adjust the ingredients accordingly. (You can cover and refrigerate for up to several hours before the ginger flavor will become really quite pronounced.)
Make the cucumber salad
Thinly slice the cucumber(s) lengthwise, either with a mandoline, a handheld slicer, or one of those cheap old potato peelers. Basically you want to get very thin ribbons of cucumber.
Place the ribbons on a plate or platter and spread them out. (You can cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.) Sprinkle with some ripped up fresh mint and cilantro and drizzle generously with the ginger dressing.