You read me correctly there. Damn, it’s hot. It’s 90+ in June, with 90+ humidity. It is going to be a long summer. Most Cincinnatians aren’t used to this kind of heat until at least July. All I want to do is sit on top of the air conditioning vent and drink lemonade. Okay, I really want gin and tonic. Ugh!
We didn’t feel like cooking indoors today, so Terry is firing up the charcoal grill and we both made a few things indoors– all chilled and uncooked.
First, cucumber salad– one of my favorites. Sometimes I do it with bacon grease (which is how my grandma did it), but I wanted something a little bit healthier. This is inspired by Nigella Lawson’s recipe, with a few of my own touches.
3-4 medium cucumbers, sliced quite thinly. I used a v-slicer (since Terry doesn’t have a food processor); I often use a food processor or just a knife. Very thin, please! You can leave skin on or not; I chose to leave it on.
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar– it’s my favorite white vinegar; I only use the regular white stuff to clean. White balsamic would work, so would white wine vinegar or champagne citrus vinegar or whatever.
4 tsp white sugar
kosher salt to taste (about 2 tsp)
1/4 cup (or so) fresh dill, chopped finely. I used more– more towards 1/2 cup.
Toss the very thinly sliced cucumbers into a bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and salt and pour over cucumbers. Toss until coated. Sprinkle with fresh dill and toss some more. You can eat this right away, or, for optimum flavor, stick in the fridge for a bit. The salt will draw out a bit of water, but it’ll taste better. Trust me.
We also made Roquamole, also from Nigella Express. This is awesome (and the reason I wanted something a little lower fat for the salad) and a little different and very rich. I imagine it could be stomachache inducing if misused. It also has approximately one million calories per bowl, so this is something to serve at a party– in fact, I intend to serve it at my next one. I used Danish blue instead of the Roquefort, and it turned out just fine, thank you. I also threw in some lemon juice to keep the avocado from oxidizing and that helped brighten the flavor.
A third dish was some simple shrimp with Terry’s homemade cocktail sauce. I don’t know why anyone buys it in a jar–all it is is ketchup, horseradish, worcestershire, lemon and Tabasco. Mix it together to taste– we both like it really horseradish-y.
I hope to spend a bunch of time using these lovely herbs this summer.