If for some unforeseen reason I were to become a vegan (a person who doesn't eat any animal products, including honey), then David Lebovitz's chocolate sorbet would be my saving grace. I'd also add my friend Jervaun's cucumber salad to that list, because it's that good, and I'm not even that crazy about cucumbers. The salad is a perfect choice during the heat wave of summer, eaten on its own, or maybe paired with something grilled, like chicken or fish.
For uniformity when slicing the vegetables, I pulled out my mandolin slicer and set the slice thickness in-between the 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch setting. I sliced both the cucumbers and the onions the same thickness, which created a nice presentation for the salad. In her recipe, Jervaun suggests that you can add a squeeze of either lemon, lime or orange juice. Since I love lime juice so much I could wear it as perfume, I added a very generous squeeze. For me, the combination of lime juice with the freshly grated ginger is money. The citrus-ginger combination is what gives this refreshing salad its addictive flavor. It's the kind of salad that keeps you light on your feet, which in turn might lead you to cha cha cha. Or become a vegan, at least for the summer.
Summer Cucumber Salad
(original recipe by Jervaun Trier)
2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup rice wine vinegar
A generous squeeze of fresh lime, lemon or orange juice
1/2 cup sugar (or you can use 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw honey)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon (adjust to taste) grated fresh ginger
In a small bowl or container, mix together the rice wine vinegar, lime juice and sugar (or honey) and whisk until everything is thoroughly combined and the sugar is well-dissolved. Add the ginger, salt and pepper, and whisk a little more. In another medium bowl, put the sliced cucumbers and onions and jumble them up together. Pour the rice wine vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and onions, and mix a little more to coat the vegetables. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
Serves 4 to 6 people