elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: cucumbers

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I’ve started this post multiple times, but keep deleting the first sentence. I wanted to lead with how the runny yolk makes the rice velvety. However, “runny yolk” just doesn’t sound as good as it tastes. Trust me on this one. You can prepare the egg however you like, runny or sedentary. We tried over easy and poached. 

Ingredients:

I don’t know how much of each rice bowl topping you want. You decide. The amount listed for each dressing ingredient was enough for 2 rice bowls. 

  • brown rice
  • raw peanuts
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 T chopped mint
  • 1 T chopped cilantro
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped scallions
  • seeded and diced cucumbers
  • bean sprouts
  • steamed and chopped baby bok choy (or other greens)

Instructions

1. Prepare brown rice as directed.

2. Roast peanuts in a heavy, dry skillet, stirring constantly. Let cool. Chop peanuts (I put them in a bag and used the side of a large wooden spoon to crush)

3. Combine the next 6 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a medium bowl, and stir.

3. Divide the rice into the number of servings you’re making. Top with the carrots, scallions, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and bok choy. I think it looks pretty to make sections for each vegetable. Pour 1-2 teaspoons of the dressing over each bowl of rice/vegetables.

4. Prepare the egg as desired. Place it in the center, on top of the vegetables.

5. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve immediately. If you like it spicy, serve with a side of chili garlic sauce.


 

 

These are like little salads you can eat with your hands. You can really improvise and use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Also, you can add shrimp, chicken, or tofu to these for some more protein. However, I liked them nice and light for these hot summer days. You may have to go to a larger store or an Asian market to get the rice paper wrap. The 3rd store was a charm for me–I picked some at at Pacific Green on Court Street in Cobble Hill. As a bonus, I also picked up some of their wonderfully fresh-cut watermelon for dessert.

These fresh summer rolls (as opposed to deep-fried spring rolls) are great to bring to a picnic or anywhere else. Just put a layer of damp paper towels on the bottom, seal them tightly with saran wrap, and they should be good to go a day in advance. If you want to store them in layers, put a layer of paper towels between the layers of rolls to keep them from sticking to each other. 

 

The quantity of the ingredients list is flexible. It depends on your preference: you can make each roll with as much of each ingredient as you choose. One cucumber and one carrot will be good for about 8 rolls, which are each cut in half. 

 

Ingredients:

 

For the rolls:

 

  • 1 package very thin rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cucumber, cut in half cross wise and then into thin strips
  • 1 carrot, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 4 radishes, cut into matchsticks (First cut the radish into thin slices. Then, cut each round slice into strips.)
  • 20 or so whole basil leaves (fewer if your leaves are bigger)
  • 20 or so whole cilantro leaves
  • 20 or so whole mint leaves (fewer if your leaves are bigger)
  • 1 package rice paper wrappers: they look like this

 

For the dipping sauce:

 

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • water as needed to thin out the sauce
  • optional: one clove or garlic, minced

 

Directions:

 

  1. If you did not cook the noodles ahead of time already, get those going according to package directions.
  2. Prepare the dipping sauce: mix all ingredients together. Thin out with a few tablespoons or water at at time until you get your desired consistency. I added a bit more vinegar as well,so just taste and keep adjusting the amounts until you like the flavor.
  3. Fill a large sauté pan with warm water. Hopefully it is large enough for you to quickly dip the wrappers in without crushing them. The wrappers I got this time were HUGE (larger diameter than any of my pans) so I just dipped one half at a time. Here’s how it works: The wrapper needs to sit in warm water for a just a few seconds to become pliable so you can actually wrap with it. Then, you need to work fairly quickly but carefully so that you don’t tear the wrapper. Just do one at a time.
  4. After softening the wrapper, place it carefully on a work surface. Fill the middle with the goods: a small handful of noodles, a few cucumber sticks, a few radishes, a few carrots, a few of each: cilantro, basil, mint, whatever else you feel like.
  5. Then, get rolling. Fold the top and bottom up to close off the edges of your roll. Then, start wrapping from one side until you get the shape you want. You’ll need to be a little forceful with your vegetables to get them into roll-shape. Its ok, they can handle it.
  6. Cut each roll in half, and serve with dipping sauce on the side.

 

 


Thanks to Food and Wine for this refreshing chilled soup recipe. Here’s the link to the original. I pretty much followed it exactly, except I substituted 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar, as there was no sherry vinegar at the store. Also, I had a hard time straining out the solids, so I didn’t do much more than get a few colanders dirty before giving up on straining altogether. 

This is not the kind of soup to make into a meal. Instead, it would be perfect at the very start of dinner or between courses as a sort of palate cleanser (thanks to my husband for that idea). The recipe says it makes 6 servings, but I think this would make more like 8-10 smaller cups. In fact, this would be the perfect thing to use the 12 (!) espresso cups that I registered for 6 years ago, since I’m not usually making 12 cups of espresso at a time. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stale, crustless 1/2-inch white country bread cubes
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 1/4 cups blanched sliced almonds (I used slivered)
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber (This was one large cucumber for me)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used a small amount of red wine vinegar instead)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Shredded mint leaves, for garnish
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the grape juice for 5 minutes, pressing to soften.
  2. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast in the oven for 6 minutes, until lightly golden; let cool. Transfer 1 cup of the almonds to a blender. Add the bread, cucumber, apple, grapes, garlic, vinegar and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Puree until smooth. Strain the soup through into a bowl, pressing on the solids.(or make a mess with colanders in your kitchen). Whisk in the buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
  3. Pour the gazpacho into cups and garnish with the mint and remaining 1/4 cup of almonds. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.