Cucumber And Hot Sauce Salad
This quick cucumber salad recipe is simple and delicious. The hot sauce adds a spicy zing to the salad, balanced by the cool and juicy cucumber. If you’re not usually someone who enjoys cucumber, I urge you to try this dish. It’s free of the bland and watery qualities that plague many cucumber dishes.
Some time ago I was fortunate enough to visit a cucumber farm. Up until that visit, I’d been less than enthusiastic about cucumbers. I’d always thought of them as quite dull. But the farm visit was a magical experience that completely changed my perspective on these bulbous fruits.
The farm was located just off the Kent coast and housed within some slightly worse-for-wear greenhouses. Despite their frail appearance, the greenhouses performed their job wonderfully. A point made clear when I stepped inside, dressed in a heavy flannel shirt and jeans, and started sweating profusely. It was boiling.
But it need not matter. I could have been wearing a full artic suit and wouldn’t have cared. I was completely entranced by the sea of cucumber plants that greeted me. Rows of plants were strung up on supports, creating walls of tumbling leaves. The smell of these plants wafted about the greenhouse, facilitated by small fans suspended high above the greenery. I don’t think I’ve smelled an odour like it since, and I can’t really describe it, but it was gorgeous.
Walking through these rows of trellised thick cucumber plants was bewitching. It was dead silent, like being hidden within a deep forest in the height of a hot summer afternoon. My guide, one of the owners of the cucumber farm, took a small penknife and cut a particularly luscious cucumber down. He offered it to me, and I bit the fruit’s end. Each crunch of that cucumber was better than the last, an explosion of zingy cool flesh. I was a complete cucumber convert.
Since that day, I’ve tried desperately to recreate that cucumber nirvana. I realised in that greenhouse you need to treat cucumber with care. Overwork it, and it turns watery and mushy, but fail to prepare it properly, it will be bland. My tip is to do the bare minimum to the fruit to emphasise the texture, then pair it with bold flavours that take kindly to its freshness.
Since that day, I’ve tried desperately to recreate that cucumber nirvana. The realisation I had in that greenhouse is that you must treat cucumber with care in cooking to enjoy this excellent fruit. Overwork it, and it turns watery and mushy, but fail to prepare it properly, it will be bland. My tip is to do the bare minimum to the fruit to emphasise the texture, then pair it with bold flavours that take kindly to its freshness.
This recipe for cucumber with hot sauce salad highlights this perfectly. It’s so painfully simple yet incredibly tasty. The marriage of hot sauce with cucumbers might seem bizarre, but trust me, it works. You get a punch of heat from the sauce immediately followed by a juicy burst of cool cucumber flesh. This unique flavour combo means that this salad is terrific to enjoy in the afternoon’s heat. It’s light and refreshing, perfect for enjoying with a cool glass of lemonade.
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Cucumber And Hot Sauce Salad
This meal is around 88% less polluting than the average UK meal.
Eating this recipe will save around 2.59 KG CO2e per person.
That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 21.40 KM in a modern car.How do I calculate this?
- 2 Large Cucumbers
- 150 g Brown rice (cooked to packet instructions and allowed to cool)
- 20 g Dill (roughly chopped)
- 10 g Mint (destemmed and roughly chopped)
- 1 Teaspoon Sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons Nigella seeds
Hot sauce dressing
- 2 Tablespoons Hot sauce (I've used Cholula Original Hot Sauce)
- 1 Tabespoon Red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- Pour all the hot sauce dressing ingredients into a measuring jug or glass and stir well to combine.
- Place the two cucumbers onto a large chopping board and bash with a rolling pin until they split. Then roughly slice into 1-inch-sized pieces.
- Tip the chopped cucumber into a large mixing bowl, along with the 150g of cooked brown rice, 20g of chopped dill, 10g of chopped mint, 2 tablespoons of nigella seeds and a teaspoon of salt. Toss well to combine.
- Plate the cucumber salad with the hot sauce dressing drizzeled over each serving.
April 22, 2023 at 10:09 pm
I have always loved cucumber. As a child I ate them like bananas. Increasingly I found them dull, but at my local Turkish shop they sell ‘crooks’, cucumbers which don’t pass the supermarket test of being large and straight. They are skinny, they curl, the skin is ridged and they taste wonderful.
May 26, 2023 at 11:14 am
Yum! That Turkish deli sounds dreamy!