Monday, November 30, 2009

Chilled Cucumber Salad

We eat a lot of cucumber salad in Romania, so I expected the Chilled Cucumber Salad (page 60) to be fairly pedestrian for my guests, but they were intrigued and delighted by the use of dill weed. It's simple, refreshing, and still manages to impress. (And a lesson in how a simple touch can turn “same old” into “something new.”)

I served the salad with Smoky Shiitake Mushroom Crepes for a light birthday dinner (so as to save everyone some room for the impending chocolate mousse cake). The cucumber-mushroom crepe pairing had been haphazard (I needed a salad and all I had were cucumbers), but my guests immediately exclaimed how well the two went together.

My wonderful grandmother was my sous chef for this meal, chopping the cucumbers and slicing the onions paper-thin just as I requested. Mandolin? Ha! Slice-master Mimo needs no such contraptions. (She also poured the crepes for me; she raised us on crepes (clatite) and entirely approves of the vegan version.)

- - Ulpia, never going to cut the crepe (you roll and pick up, see) - -

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