It’s 51 degrees with a chance of snow showers in Minneapolis as I sit looking out at pure blue sky. It is 83 degrees where I am at. In my mind, a perfect summer day. But it is fall, and I am once again missing the fall I am used to.
I still haven’t gotten used to the fact that September and October are some of the hottest months in the bay area. I know, I am a wee bit strange. I love winter. On the other hand, it cools off beautifully here at night. Tonight’s forecasted low is 47 degrees. One could call that perfect weather! And I love waking up to the crisp fall air. So, I think I will just count my blessings!
Weather and the seasons have a huge influence on what we feel like eating and cucumber salads are traditionally summer fare. But this cucumber salad has a little something-something going on that makes it perfect for your table any time of year. The ingredients are easy to find at all times and simple to throw together. The dressing is creamy yet refreshing and has a little pop of heat that makes it satisfying even on a cold day.
Cucumber “noodles” are super simple to make with one of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment, the Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer (click on the link to order). I have talked about this mandoline before. I love it. It is inexpensive and does an extremely good job. I have also pointed out that many of the top kitchens I have photographed in use this mandoline.
The mandoline comes with extra blades like the one above. It inserts quickly and lets you make noodles out of just about any veggie suited to the task. I rarely use the spiralizer anymore simply because this tool is so versatile and I get excellent results with it.
To make the cucumber noodles, you will start by peeling and cutting the cucumber in half (in the middle). Then carefully slice the cucumber over the blade just until you get to the seeds. Stop and do the other side. Then finish with the two sides that haven’t been done yet. Treat the cucumber like it is square and you are slicing all 4 sides down to the seeds. Set the core aside as you will be adding it to the dressing.
Place the “noodles” in a strainer over a bowl and let them drain while you are making the dressing.
Cucumber Noodles with Coconut Cumin Lime Dressing
- 4 medium to large cucumbers
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked until soft, rinsed and drained
- 1 young Thai coconut, flesh from (about 1 cup and save the water)
- 4 limes, juice and zest from
- 1/4 cup coconut water (from above coconut)
- 1 teaspoon raw chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 4 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced
- Himalayan salt (I use 4 grinds or 1/4 teaspoon)
1. Slice cucumbers into noodles (see instructions above). Set two of the cores aside to add to the dressing. See pictures above for directions. Set noodles in strainer to let excess water drain.
2. Place two cucumber cores, cashews, coconut, lime juice (not zest), coconut water, chili garlic sauce and cumin into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
3. Stir in zest, black sesame seeds and onions. Pour over noodles and mix well. Salt to taste.