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Friday, June 15, 2012

Cucumber and Radish Salad




When making this salad for the first time I was unaware that a number of recipes already existed.

I just happened to have a bunch of radishes and a few mini cucumbers in the fridge and the fact that both had similar diameters and a good crunch to them inspired the combination of the two into a salad that we have enjoyed for years.

The dressing is our all time favourite, simple vinaigrette that has enhanced the taste of a variety of delicious salads time and time again.

Surprisingly I eventually discovered numerous similar recipes which included various different ingredients ranging from feta cheese to shredded carrots.  None of the recipes I have come across use oregano which seems to be to be the perfect choice in keeping the salad very simple.

I believe the addition of oregano was inspired by a simple little radish dish made by my mother on occasion instead of the usual salad.

She would place some olive oil in a shallow dish and season it with salt, pepper and dried oregano. This simple mixture did wonders for the fresh sweet radishes that would take a dip or double dip into the delicious pool.  If the radish leaves were tender enough they would continue to be dipped until there was nothing left. (unfortunately this choice of words is reminding me of the ever growing bunny family which is still doing a job on my perennials!)

As a child I don’t remember if I really liked radishes but it was all about the fun of dipping into the olive oil which made it delicious and memorable.  Similar small shallow dishes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar come to mind that are sometimes served in restaurants to keep everyone busy while waiting for the main.  It’s the bread that takes the dip in this case and is equally delicious.

Cucumber and radish salad has a wonderful fresh crunch to it and can be easily enjoyed most anytime since these vegetables are available in the grocery stores year round.  Of course making it in the winter months doesn’t compare to the taste experience of making it with the summer harvest from the garden or farmer’s markets. All the same it’s a welcomed change in the winter from the every day leafy salad.

Red, white and green… again a winning colour combination.


Radish and Cucumber Salad


any variety of fresh cucumber
fresh red radishes (preferably purchase the kind with the stems and leaves still attached)
olive oil wine vinegar vinaigrette
freshly cracked black pepper
salt
oregano
  1. Slice radishes and cucumber into a bowl
  2. Dress with vinaigrette.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.

My Inspiration




Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • Use any variety of cucumbers and cut to approximate size of sliced radishes.
  • If cucumber peel is tender, do not remove, it adds colour and nutrients to the salad.
  • Although dried oregano is usually the choice, finely chopped fresh oregano can be substituted.

6 comments:

  1. this sounds very interesting,never would have thought of putting those two ingredients together, certainly a must try.
    BTW I tried making your vinaigrette and wasn't happy, I think I put too much mustard in it, that's all I could taste, when I had yours it was delicious, I could have drank it, could you tell me again how you make it, I'm sure it's perfected by making it so much.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Marianne,
      I often complain that my mother's recipes don't have exact measurements of ingredients but at times I'm just as guilty of making some things by eye because I have made it so often.
      You shouldn't be able to taste the mustard. My husband doesn't like mustard but he's never been able to detect it in this recipe. (whatever you do don't tell him it's in there.)
      So here it is and I hope it works out better for you.

      ¾ cup olive oil
      ¼ cup red wine vinegar
      2 teaspoons yellow mustard
      1 teaspoon salt
      ¼ teaspoon sugar

      Place olive oil, red wine vinegar, yellow mustard, salt, pepper and sugar in a 500 ml. jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid and shake until very well combined.

      Delete
    2. thanks so much, I will try again, and your secret is safe with me.

      Delete
    3. I tried again and it turned out perfect, thanks, and no taste of mustard.

      Delete
  2. elizabeth, now cream puff satisfiedJune 19, 2012 at 5:09 AM

    Mmmm, this salad reminds me of summer. In particular, those hot days at 145 prior to the 21st century air conditioner. I remember we would eat ample amounts of this salad once the cucumber crop was in full bounty. I guess this recipe reinforces the truth that simple is often the best!

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  3. Cucumber plants are growing...can't wait.

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