Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cucumber soup; cucumber salad

Salting appears to concentrate the sweetness in cucumbers. It tempers the sharpness of vinegar, producing a zingy, sweet-and-sour flavour. It also has the benefit of sweating out the water that might otherwise dilute the soup as you cool it.

For 2 to 3
1 cucumber
150g Greek yoghurt
1tbsp white wine vinegar
1tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed with a little salt
Handful mint leaves, chopped
Jellied chicken stock

Peel the cucumber, cut it into dice, arrange in a colander, and sprinkle over salt, stirring the dice to distribute it. Leave for half an hour. Rinse, and dry with paper towels.

Mix the yoghurt with the vinegar, oil, garlic, and mint. Stir in the cucumber. Stir in stock until you have a consistency that suits - I used two serving spoons-worth. Check the seasoning - you may not need any more salt. Chill for at least an hour.

For 2
1/2 cucumber
1dstsp white wine vinegar
1/2tsp sugar
1tbsp herbs - mint, or dill, or a mixture

Peel the cucumber, and slice thinly. Arrange the slices in a colander, sprinkling over salt as you go. Leave for half an hour. Rinse, and dry with paper towels.

In a salad bowl, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Stir in the cucumber, with the herbs.

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