Cooking Light (June 2013)
Cucumber salads come in a number of forms.
There's the incredibly bracing sort, so tart from vinegar and acid that your face puckers a bit.
There's the cucumber salad that pits bracing against sweet in an epic battle to see if it will first pucker your face or rot your teeth (kind of our favorite, if we're choosing).
And there's the bland, the watery, the "is there any dressing on this or did you just serve me a bowl of sliced cucumbers?" salad.
We picked up a bunch of cucumbers at the farmers market recently, and while trying to figure out what to do with them, we ran across this recipe in Cooking Light. We've never featured a cucumber salad here on the blog, so we gave it a shot. There's nothing out of the ordinary about this recipe: sliced cucumbers and green and red peppers get tossed with oil, white wine, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper, as well as some herbs. It's a pretty basic take on the dish.
But here's the thing about this cucumber salad -- we find it to be perfectly balanced. It's not too sweet, not too tart. The dressing doesn't overpower the vegetables. There's no secret, star ingredient smuggled into the mix to set your taste buds on fire. It's a standard, very good, absolutely ordinary cucumber salad. And we loved it for that.
It's the kind of dish you can take to a potluck of picky eaters and they will love. Someone will praise your cucumber salad, and you can say, "Thank you, isn't it perfectly fine?"
Sometimes, something is neither exotic nor dull.
It's neither challenging nor boring.
It's just perfectly fine. And that's perfectly fine.
Cooking Light (June 2013); recipe by Deb Wise
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Nutritional Information available at CookingLight.com
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 3/4 cup)
Total: 10 Minutes
Ingredients2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1-inch) slices red bell pepper
1/2 cup (1-inch) slices green bell pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 English cucumber, sliced
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Add bell peppers and remaining ingredients to wine mixture; toss gently to coat.