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Posts Tagged ‘Cucumber’

Cucumber & lamb's lettuce salad

We’ve been eyeing up lots of recipes in Ottolenghi Simple and so far have only made a green salad. As green salads go however it was  pretty good with a great fresh flavour from the herbs and cucumber and an unusual dressing. We served this with some spiced baked salmon but it would be great with loads of dishes.

Cucumber & lamb’s lettuce salad – serves 4

  • 5 baby cucumbers (or 1½ regular cucumbers with the seeds removed)
  • 30g lamb’s lettuce
  • 10g picked mint leaves
  • 10g picked coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 2cm piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 20g plain yoghurt
  • third tsp flaked sea salt

Make the salad dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Cut the cucumbers into quarters, lengthways. Cut each quarter diagonally into ½ cm slices and put into a large bowl with the lettuce, mint and coriander. Gently mix in the dressing and spread into over a large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with the nigella seeds and serve.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury Press, 2018.)

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Pomegranate, cucumber and pistachio yoghurt

We are always on the look out for cooling dips to serve with spicer dishes. This one would be good with any middle eastern-style meal that warrants something cool on the side. Or you could have it on its own with some toasted pittas. Another great recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour.

Pomegranate, cucumber & pistachio yoghurt – serves 6 to 8

  • 500ml thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 large banana shallot or 2 small round shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, cut into 1cm dice
  • 150g pomegranate seeds, rinsed to remove the juice
  • 100g pistachio nuts
  • 30g of mint, leaves stripped and roughly chopped
  • toasted pitta bread to serve

Pour the yoghurt into a large bowl and mix in the shallot. Add the cucumber, pomegranate seeds and pistachios (keep some of each to sprinkle over before serving). Add the mint, then fold everything gently through the yoghurt. Season generously with sea salt and black pepper.

To serve drizzle with some good olive oil and scatter over the reserved cucumber, pomegranate seeds and pistachios.

Serve as a dip with toasted pittas or as a cooling side dish.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

 

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Shirazi salad

This Iranian salad works really well with rich, spicy stews and middle eastern dishes. Try and cut everything the same size so that you get a bit of everything in each bite.

Salad Shirazi – serves 4 as a side dish

  • 300g Middle Eastern or regular cucumber
  • 300g tomatoes, halved and seeds removed
  • ½ red onion
  • 4 radishes

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

If you are using small Middle Eastern (Lebanese) cucumbers, then half them lengthways. If using a regular cucumber, peel, half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.

Finely dice the cucumber and tomato into ½ cm cubes. Cut the red onion and radishes into similar sized pieces and tip everything into a large salad bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, then pour over the salad and mix well. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

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Yoghurt with cucumber and mint

A perfect cooling accompaniment for barbecued lamb kebabs and Persian rice dishes. The fresh mint can be replaced with fresh dill.

Yoghurt with Cucumber & Mint – serves 4-6

  • 200g cucumber
  • 500g Greek yoghurt
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp sultanas
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the watery middle and seeds with a teaspoon. Grate the cucumber and squeeze out the excess water over a bowl using your hands.

Mix the cucumber into the yoghurt, along with the garlic, dried mint, fresh mint, dill, sultanas, salt and pepper. Stir well before serving.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

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Greek salad

Perfect with many Greek dishes, but none mores than barbecued lamb cutlets or kebabs/souvlaki. You could also serve it as as starter with some crusty bread. A very popular salad in our house when the days get warmer. In fact, we blogged it here a few years ago and it’s still a firm favourite.

Greek Salad – serves 4

  • 450g ripe tomatoes
  • ½ a cucumber
  • 1 red onion (we only use half an onion)
  • 200g Greek feta cheese
  • 4½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ouzo/Pernod
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 20 small black olives
  • large pinch of dried oregano – Greek if you can find it

Cut the tomatoes into chunky pieces and cut the cucumber in half lengthways and then across into thick slices. Slice the red onion as thinly as possible (a mandolin is good for this if you have one). Crumble the feta into chunky pieces.

To make the dressing whisk the olive oil, ½ tsp salt, the red wine vinegar, ouzo/Pernod and some black pepper in a large salad bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and onions and toss gently. Add the feta, dill and olives and mix briefly.

Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with the dried oregano and some coarsely ground black pepper.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes, BBC Books, 2007.)

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Big pieces of fish are particularly well suited to the large cooking space you’ve got on the barbecue. We’ve invested in a fish basket for the barbecue but when we cooked this we didn’t have one and it was tricky to turn. If you don’t have a fish basket you might find it easier to cut the side of salmon in half.

We also really like this without the cucumber yoghurt and served with some champ (mashed potatoes with scallions and loads of butter for any of you non-Irish readers).

Wine suggestion: White and fresh, but also with a full body and a good texture. Out of fashion somewhat we tried a Chablis  … a 1er Cru Montmains from Domaine Bois d’Yver that we had lying around. It was a couple of years old but the extra age added extra layers of depth to a wine that was still fresh and dynamic. If you’d prefer a red then lightly chill a young Pinot Noir for 20-30 minutes and you’ll also have a treat.

Barbecued Side of Salmon with Cucumber Yoghurt – serves 4-6

  • 1.5kg side of salmon, scaled and pinboned (order this from your fishmonger)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • large bunch of basil/fennel tops, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled lengthwise at intervals to make stripes
  • 300ml natural yoghurt
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • small bunch of mint/oregano, leaves picked and chopped

Brush the bars of the barbecue clean or your fish will stick (the fish basket will help with this), then light it and get it nice and hot.

Put the salmon skin-side down on a board and slash the flesh side with a sharp knife, about 1cm deep. Scatter the lemon zest and most of the fennel tops/basil over the salmon, then push into the cuts that you made with your fingers. Rub the fish lightly all over with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Put the salmon on the barbecue, skin-side down. Check it after about 4 minutes by which time the skin should have got nice and crispy. Turn the fish carefully and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes. You can carefully take the skin off the salmon at this stage and place it back on the heat to get really crispy.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Chop the seedless cucumber and mix with the yoghurt. Add some lemon juice, half the chopped chilli, and half the mint/oregano. Drizzle over some good olive oil and season well.

Break the salmon into portions with a fork and serve with the cucumber yoghurt, sprinkled with the remaining chilli and herbs. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve with a piece of the crispy skin if you like.

(Original recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2007.)

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