Cucumber Chili Salad

I love growing my own fruits and veggies.  This year I started all of the plants for the garden indoors, from seed, and just got them transplanted to small pots this past weekend.  I can’t wait until they’re in the freshly tilled garden plot.

The raspberry bush has been trimmed back a bit as have the grape vines.  Blueberry bushes have been fed spent coffee grounds.  Radishes and beets, pole beans and herbs have been sewn into huge pots and placed throughout the property according to sun requirements.  Strawberries which had spread too far out of their assigned area have been transplanted to hanging baskets and hung over budding azalea bushes.

And the Northampton Tuesday Markets begin again today for the season.  This means that I can take an afternoon break from work and walk over to pick up fresh, local produce, eggs, bread or anything else that I may have missed in the weekend’s marketing adventures.

This week’s marketing found us a beautiful piece side of salmon.  With the warmer weather moving in, my food cravings are switching over to lighter dishes and fresher ingredients so I went looking for a recipe that would pair well with the fish, and be light and crisp and tasty.  I found that in this cucumber chili salad.  Crunchy cukes, savory scallion, buttery cilantro, sweet jalapeño- yum!

cucumber chili salad

Ingredients:

3 cups thinly sliced, washed cucumber, with the peel on

2 tsp minced jalapeño pepper*, seeds and stem removed

1/4 cup chopped scallion

3 TBS chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of one fresh lemon

1 TBS soy sauce

1/4 cup chopped greek yogurt

Dash of cayenne pepper

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • whisk together lemon juice, yogurt, jalapeño, scallion, cilantro, cayenne, salt and pepper
  • toss the cucumbers with soy sauce
  • dress the cukes with the yogurt mixture and serve

salmon on a bed of garlic spinach, whole wheat cous-cous, and cucumber chili salad

J

Recipe adapted from “the world’s healthiest foods“.

Raita

When I made the spicy coconut shrimp recently, I was in need of a side dish.  Since the shrimp were being served on top of rice, I didn’t want a pasta side, and I couldn’t figure what veg what go perfectly, so I went in search of something that would be cool and crisp.  This is where I discovered raita.

From what I’ve read, raita has its roots in Pakistan and/or India.  It’s typically used as a sauce or a dip, a condiment really.  I adapted it by making a chunkier version that was served as a salad.

Ingredients

1 Cucumber

1 Tomato

1 green chili, finely chopped

½ Cup non-fat Greek yogurt

Salt and pepper

Directions

  • Mix together all ingredients and serve chilled

I did find that as the salad chilled, the veggies dropped some water and the yogurt solidified a bit, looking funny.  no worries!  Just give it a good stir and it’ll look great again.

J