Food & Wine (July 2015)
Looks like we need to get ourselves to Austin to eat at Olamaie.
See, we usually try to cook recipes from all our different food magazines -- one from here, one from there, and so on. We try not to repeat a magazine too much in one month.
But we ended up flagging two gorgeous salads from the July Food & Wine that we wanted to make, that amazing Tomato Salad with Tomato Water Granita and this Cucumber Salad with Buttermilk Dressing and Pickled Onion.
Well, that's okay, we figured. They're both great-looking summer salads.
It wasn't until after we'd made this cucumber salad that we realized: Not only are both salads from the same magazine, they're both from the same chefs.
So attention, Chef Michael Fojtasek and Chef Grae Nonas: We're booking a flight to Austin and booking a table at your restaurant.
Food & Wine recognized Fojtasek and Nonas earlier this year in its list of Best New Chefs of 2015:
The duo—who met while working at one of L.A.’s hippest restaurants (Son of a Gun)—share a passion for classic Southern cooking, locavorism and innovation. This magical combination results in dishes like whey-caramel-glazed sweet potatoes with popped sorghum and crudo with puffed black rice, benne seeds and pickled watermelon rind.
Now at Olamaie (named after Fojtasek's grandmother), they're making wonderful dishes like this cucumber salad.
This salad is simple, with a couple of wonderful twists.
First, the dressing. It's rich, creamy and tangy, with great herbs like tarragon and chives. (Just don't call it ranch!) Seriously, it's a knockout.
The real star here, though, is the pickled onion. It really elevates the dish with a nice contrast of sharp, vinegary flavor that cuts through the creamy dressing and balances the fresh cucumbers.
All in all, it's a perfect summer salad: bred in the South but with a couple twists that make it extremely special.
If you need us, we'll be packing our bags for Olamaie.
Total time: 45 mins
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced tarragon
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 garlic clove, finely grated
3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 Kirby cucumbers, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Sunflower sprouts, roasted sunflower seeds and tarragon leaves, for garnish
MAKE THE PICKLED ONION In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, water and salt just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat; add the onion. Let cool, then refrigerate until chilled.
MAKE THE DRESSING In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
MAKE THE SALAD In a medium bowl, toss all of the cucumbers with the vinegar and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and let stand for 5 minutes.
Spoon the dressing into shallow bowls and top with the cucumber salad. Drain the onion and scatter over the salad. Garnish with sunflower sprouts and seeds, tarragon and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve.