Thursday, September 25, 2008


I fancied grating my cucumber, rather than chopping it, for my cucumber and yoghurt salad yesterday. The cucumber would be a refreshing component of the texture of the dish, rather than a distinct, crunchy contrast to the yoghurt.

The problem is that grating releases a good deal of water -- and water is a huge percentage of what a cucumber is. Salting will encourage it to disgorge more water; but then how do you get it dry? Squeezing it in a clean dishcloth or in paper towels will leave bits of it stuck all over the place. Wringing it in your hands is messy too.

I tried the manual method. But the cucumber still diluted my yoghurt to an unsatisfactory extent.

I realise now that I should have scooped out the seeds first.

When chopping the cucumber, I usually salt the pieces, which are easier to dry. In Keep It Simple (now out of print), Alastair Little and Richard Whittington recommend another method: you immerse the chopped pieces for a few seconds in boiling, salted water.

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