Sweet & Spicy Cucumber Salad
From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh
I typically make a basic cucumber salad with oil, vinegar, sugar and raw garlic. Then I saw a post with a new recipe, and as usual tried it and did my own thing. You can alter the heat factor of this recipe to your family’s taste. You do need to use salt. Salt crisps up the cucumbers, draws juice from the cucumbers into the vinaigrette and also shrinks the cucumber.
When you first make this cucumber salad, you look at a huge amount of cucumber and think that’s not enough vinaigrette/dressing. Yes, it is. I like both thinly sliced cucumber and small cubes. Don’t keep it more than a couple of days in the fridge.
Gluten-Free Sweet & Spicy Cucumber Salad
- 1 English/European cucumber, rinsed (aka seedless cucumber even though it does have seeds, just less than regular American cucumber). Remove from plastic wrap when you buy it as it can go moldy rapidly if left in plastic. Or equivalent of small Persian cucumbers, they look really cute sliced or cubed, but are more expensive.
- 2 Tbsp HOT pepper jelly. Sweet pepper jelly doesn’t add heat. I buy Trappist hot pepper jelly at my local grocery store. I’ve also made this with Maesri Spring roll dipping sauce from an Asian market. Do not buy Maesri sweet chili sauce, far far spicier hot – nearly killed my husband.
- Zest of a lime
- Juice of a lime
- 1/4 c (60 ml, 2 fl oz) mild oil. I use avocado oil
- Green of 2 green onions
- 1/2 – 1 tsp salt (3-5 ml) – make it with half teaspoon and add more after refrigeration if you like more salt.
- Freshly ground pepper
- Cilantro to taste. Start with only 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro. You can also use Thai basil. Or even lime basil, so good.
- Melt pepper jelly in a 4 cup microwave safe bowl in microwave, add lime, oil, salt, herbs.
- Cut ends off cucumber then I thinly slice the cucumber on a mandolin or cut into small cubes, like a sugar cube.
- Stir cucumber into vinaigrette, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Stir, taste and serve. Some recipes like to add sesame oil, but sesame oil is a very strong oil and easily overpowers.