(photo by Nick Youngson/Alpha Stock Images)
Whether you go to farmers markets or elsewhere to buy your summer produce, cucumbers are a must. In Jerusalem, we have all kinds of cucumbers year-round but my favourite in Machaneh Yehudah is one with a fuzzy, pale green skin called melafafon beladi (native, urban or indigenous to the country) or, in Arabic, fauze. Much more expensive than regular cucumbers, the taste is special, but the following recipes will taste great with regular cucumbers.
CUCUMBER SALAD BOATS
This recipe came from Gourmet Magazine probably more than 30 years ago. It makes 6 servings.
2 large cucumbers, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated radishes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine grated carrots, radishes, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Scoop out some of the seeds, then place cucumbers on a plate and fill with vegetables. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. To serve, cut each cucumber into thirds.
SEAWEED AND CUCUMBER SALAD
1/2 cup washed seaweed
1/2 bunch green onions
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce or teriyaki sauce
2 tbsp sesame seeds or chopped cashew nuts (optional)
- Chop seaweed and green onions in a bowl. Chop cucumbers coarsely and add to bowl.
- In a jar with a lid, mix lemon juice, sesame oil, soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. Pour over salad. Sprinkle sesame seeds or cashew nuts on top before serving.
TURKISH CUCUMBER AND YOGURT SALAD
This dish is often called cacik or jajik. Recipe makes 4-6 servings.
2 large cucumbers, sliced
salt to taste
1 crushed garlic clove
2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp chopped dill
2/3 cup yogurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp oil
- In a bowl, combine cucumber slices, salt, garlic, vinegar, dill and yogurt and blend.
- Sprinkle mint and oil on top before serving.
Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, lecturer, book reviewer and food writer in Jerusalem. She created and leads the weekly English-language Shuk Walks in Machane Yehuda, she has compiled and edited nine kosher cookbooks, and is the author of Witness to History: Ten Years as a Woman Journalist in Israel.