Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jacques’ Cucumber Salad (but) with Onions #SundaySupper

Cucumber salad, made Jacques Pepin’s way, stays crunchy for several days, making it a great make-ahead contribution for your next potluck or barbecue party. You’ll want to double or even quadruple this recipe for a crowd. 

This week Sunday Supper is going to a barbecue party and bringing along everything you need from drinks to salads to ribs (You gotta have the ribs!) to make it just perfect. I love a fresh dish, but sometimes time does not allow for in-the-moment creations. That’s where Jacques Pépin and his cucumber salad come to the rescue. In the chef’s own words, “The salt, you will discover, draws the juices from the cucumbers, making them limp, and, paradoxically, very crisp at the same time. Prepared this way, the cucumbers will stay crisp for several days.” And so they do.

Many thanks to our hosts today, Jennie from The Messy Baker and Melanie from Melanie Makes! This recipe is adapted from Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques.

Ingredients
4 cucumbers – weight 1 1/3 lbs or 585g
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt – I used sel gris.
1/2 small purple onion – about 2 oz or 55g
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sour cream
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon peanut oil

Jacques’ ingredient list calls for three cucumbers, which he says will give you five cups sliced. I got two cups out of my four cucumbers so I don’t know where we went wrong but I reduced the rest of the ingredients proportionally to fit what I had. After all, you can’t salt two cups of cucumbers with the same salt that’s meant for five!

See? His aren't bigger than average. 


Method
Peel your cucumbers and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.





Cut them into slices about a 1/4 inch or 1/2cm wide.


Pop them into a colander, over a bowl to catch the juice. Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt and mix well. Allow to drain for at least an hour but preferably two, at room temperature.



Meanwhile, slice your half onion as thinly as you can manage and soak the slices in a small bowl in the lemon juice. Stir it occasionally as it sits.



When the time is up for the cucumbers, rinse them thoroughly under cold water and then press them lightly to get rid of excess water.


I laid them out briefly on some paper towels.


Mix the sour cream and the peanut oil into the lemon juice and onions, along with a good few grinds of fresh peppercorn.



Pour this mixture over the cucumbers and stir.

Jacques says more salt won’t be necessary and he is absolutely right. Because of the sour cream, refrigerate this salad if not eating immediately.



Enjoy!

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