Counting calories gets old by my age, so I have instead elected to create dishes with extremely low caloric content or extremely low carbohydrate count. This recipe satisfies both criteria. Also, I bought cucumbers not realizing we had several in our veggie garden, so this was a practical salad.
Vegetables are one of my favorite foods but my goal is to also eat colorful fruits and vegetables, hence the radishes. Rather than the obligatory 'coleslaw' with mayo, etc., I served this with barbecued ribs last night. My daughter raved about the flavor – she also loves cilantro as do I – but our resident food curmudgeon also claimed to enjoy the dish. Getting him to eat his vegetables is often a triumph in and of itself.:) Enjoy!
CUCUMBER, RADISH & CILANTRO SALAD
3 fresh, large Cucumbers
1 bunch of fresh Radishes
6 Green Onions (green tops only)
6 TBS. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Sesame oil
2 TBS. Olive oil
2 TBS. Fresh Lime Juice
2 TBS. Soy sauce
1 tsp. Sugar (optional) or honey (optional)
½ c. Seasoned Rice Vinegar (or regular rice vinegar with ¼ teaspoon sugar)
½ cup of Cilantro leaves only*
Peeling is optional, but if your cucumbers are waxed, do peel them first. Cut the cucumbers in half the long way, then scoop out the seeds (on one or all the cucumbers) and slice the cukes very thinly. Layer the slices in a large colander and sprinkle them with the salt. Set the colander over a plate or in the sink, and let drain for an hour to 1.5 hours. The salt removes the ‘burp’ effect from the cucumbers, but the slices must be washed off for the dish, so rinse WELL under cold water until the salt is mostly washed off. Taste a piece and if it still tastes salty, keep rinsing. Drain and pat dry with paper towels (or a tea towel). The cucumbers are not going to be crunchy, which is how they are supposed to be.
Make the dressing next, so that the sugar and the flavors will have a chance to meld. Whisk the sesame oil, olive oil, limejuice, soy sauce, sugar and seasoned rice vinegar together. Set aside for the moment.
Now wash and thinly slice the radishes and add to the rinsed cucumbers. Wash the green onions, and using kitchen scissors, cut ¼ inch pieces down all the way until the white part of the onion. (Reserve the white part for another dish.) Add the green pieces to the cucumbers, add the dressing and toss. Serve with pepper if desired. This will make 4 to 5 servings, and is quite light, low in calories and delicious.
*Not a fan of Cilantro? Substitute 3 TBS fresh chopped Parsley, chopped Basil, chopped Tarragon or chopped Dill