While home in Gainesville this summer, we made
Cucumber and Dill Salad (tweaked from a mighty fine cookbook)
Four large cucumbers (of the fat, seeded variety)
1/3 large red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
3 Tbsp. salt
1.5 Tbsp. dried dill (or substitute fresh!)
8 ounces sour cream (full fat is best)
freshly ground pepper-- as much as you like!
Prepping the main ingredient takes the most amount of hands on time-- you'll need to wash and peel the cucumbers before slicing them in half longwise. Use a large metal spoon to scrape the seeds out (trash 'em). A firm but gentle scrape is best-- you want to get all of the seeds out but keep as much of the regular flesh as possible.
Slice the cucumber halves to desired thinness-- I cut about 1/4" slices. Combine with the sliced red onion and toss well with the salt. It does seem like a lot of salt, but it's necessary in order to reduce water content and remove some of the bitter flavors from both vegetables. The cookbook had a great tip, which I'll share with you-- place the salted cucumbers in a colander and place a large plastic bag filled with ice over the top. This acts as a super cheap, disposable weight to force some extra moisture out- as well as helping to keep things cool. You'll want to drain this over a sink or bowl for about thirty minutes to an hour. You can definitely go longer, but move the cukes to the refrigerator if it will be more than one hour.
Once you're ready to serve, transfer the vegetables to your serving bowl (make sure not to transfer any leftover moisture from the colander), add the rest of the ingredients, and give it all a good stir. You could also add some chopped garlic or a splash of vinegar if either are up your alley, but it's surprisingly flavorful as is.
Similar to the cucumber and zucchini salad we recently made, it's light and refreshing. Paired with a burger and some potato salad, you've got a plate of summer I could never refuse!
We were lucky to have delicious versions of both at the Burger Club barbecue. Our "Burger Master" paired up with Philly Cow Share to source our beef locally. If you haven't heard of Philly Cow Share and you've found yourself with a fair amount of freezer space, listen up! If you also often head to the farmer's market or Whole Foods to buy a grass-fed, local steak or some ground beef, you could save yourself a fair amount of money and hassle by purchasing a "CowShare." Essentially, the system is made to serve individuals and families, offering the meat of 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and full cows (fully butchered and packaged, of course). Their website even shows you how much space in your freezer it will take!
|1/8 Cow Source|
With a slice or two of blue cheese, fresh tomato and romaine on a potato bun, it made one heck of a burger. Too bad we weren't ranking them this month!