Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Asian Inspired Lemon Cucumber and Tomato Salad

The lemon cucumbers is my garden are going absolutely bonkers this year, and I'm hearing from fellow lem-cuke lovers that they are finding the same thing.  Personally, I could eat these babies raw all day long, but it seemed like people were looking for something more to do with them.  And so, I give to you, this Asian Inspired Lemon Cucumber and Tomato Salad!

Cukes and tomatoes are a pretty standard combination, and a lot of times you'll find cucumber tomato salads dressed with a vinaigrette or a nice Greek dressing, or a fancy tutu.  But one of my favorite directions to go with cucumber is Asian.  I'm addicted to cucumber rolls when we have sushi.  I will gladly sprinkle on a little soy sauce onto cucumber spears and dig in.  And here, I've whipped up a little dressing that brings that savory, salty punch of Asian to the clean, crisp flavors of the fresh veg.

I made the dressing in a small amount, in case you're like me and might have only one or two people at your place for lunch, but you can easily double/triple the amounts for a bigger crowd.  You can also store leftover dressing in the fridge for about a week and use it for another salad, or to dip veggie spears in later.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon of white miso, one teaspoon soy sauce, one teaspoon mirin, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, half a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped or grated sweet onion, and 2 tablespoons of a mild olive oil.  Dressing complete.

Wash, dry, and slice a lemon cucumber.  Mine was huge, so I did quarter-inch slices and then cut those into quarters, to make it more bite-sized.  Slice up some tomatoes the same way.  I used my Blue Berry tomatoes, because I like the contrast in color, and they are a bit on the sweet side.  You want about equal amounts of cucumber and tomato.  Feel free to use a regular cucumber, or any other variety of tomato...find what works for you!  There will be subtle differences, but I'm pretty sure that this salad would be delicious anyway.

Layer the veggies, or, if you're less fussy, just toss them together.  Drizzle on some of the dressing, and you're good to go!  If you want to get fancy, garnish the salad with some crumbled nori (dried seaweed) and/or sesame seeds.

I know that lemon cucumbers are not your typical grocery fare, but they are becoming more are more popular at farmers' markets and if you ever see them, I highly recommend picking up a couple!  Great clean flavor, and a fantastic crunch!

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