Kickin’ Melon Cucumber Salad

Melon, agave, and a tiny hint of cayenne take this ordinary tomato and cucumber salad to extraordinary with a burst of flavor. It’s sweet, spicy, and refreshing. Surprise your friends with this unique summer salad at the next barbeque.

Whatever it is that makes pregnant women crave weird things, I’m pretty sure I have it all the time. As I’m trying to eat everything in my refrigerator before vacation (this is counteracting my plan to get in shape for the beach, by the way), I keep finding myself pairing the oddest things.

Oreo cookies, cream filling removed and replaced with peanut butter and banana.

A baked sweet potato doused in hot sauce for breakfast.

Crackers dipped in tomato paste and hummus.

Sometimes I question my authority to co-write a food blog. I mean seriously, how can you trust the palate of someone who removes the filling from their Oreos?

However, sometimes my weird cravings create something truly delicious. When I took a bite of this salad with crisp cucumbers, bright tomatoes, sweet cantaloupe, red onion, and an agave and cayenne vinaigrette, I was in love. It’s an odd combination of fruits and veggies, of spicy and sweet, but it works I tell ya, it really works.

It would brighten up and bring a perfect balance of acidity and flavor to grilled tofu or chicken for a healthy summer dinner. It would also be a great side dish for Fourth of July parties, no refrigeration needed for at least a few hours.

Just be prepared to answer the questions, “How did you come up with this combination? Are you pregnant?”

Rachel’s Kickin’ Melon Cucumber Salad

Serves 6-8 side portions

Ingredients

2 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 c. cucumber, chopped
1 . red onion, diced
2 c. canteloupe or other melon (watermelon and honeydew would both work), chopped

Vinaigrette
3 T. rice vinegar
3 T. agave
3 t. salt
3 t. crushed black pepper
1 t. cayenne

Directions

Mix vinaigrette ingredients and toss with chopped fruit and veggies. Serve.

It’s that easy!

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Kickin’ Melon Cucumber Salad
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-rI
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Crunchy Asian Cucumber & Tomatoes

Becky’s Crunchy Asian Cucumbers and Tomatoes

My husband Greg and I often travel together for business and fun; and this often yields a good bit of comic material.  On a recent trip home,  we were hauling around enough luggage to outfit the entire cast of Glee for a week, plus golf clubs.  (“Learning to pack light,” is on my To Do List.) As is often the case,  when we are in a hurry trying to catch a plane,  Greg exits the elevator with his suitcase and golf clubs, unaware that I am scrambling to get my suitcases turned around and facing the right direction — when the door closes and takes me to some strange floor, not of my choosing.  I always get tickled when this happens. Greg is patient, but doesn’t see as much humor in it as I do.

Last summer he was about to walk off the elevator in Arizona, and in some uncanny feat of timing, both of his lens popped out of his only pair of glasses and one lens rolled, then disappeared down a small crack near the elevator door.  Greg stood looking stunned, his eyes wide through his lens-less spectacles. I found this hysterical, could hardly stand up straight I was laughing so hard — but Greg… not so much. (He did however smile when he found a maintenance guy who was able to help him retrieve the lost lens from the basement.)

Last week we were on a plane together, but had to sit in separate seats. Upon descent, a rogue lap top computer went zipping down the aisle.  The limber and alert flight attendent expertly caught it right before it hit the cockpit door.   Guess who’s lap top it was?  The look on Greg’s face as his wife’s computer went whizzing by his seat, then looked over at me, was priceless.

Traveling is not only great for gathering funny material, but it affords me the opportunity to try new foods in new cities that I often try to duplicate at home. On a trip to California, we went out for sushi, and the restaurant served the tastiest crunchy cucumbers as appetizers before the meal. They were small cukes, but sliced thick, peel left on, which gave them a great crunch. This is my version of those yummy Asian cucumbers, with the addition of red tomatoes.  It would also be fabulous with thinly sliced red onions if you are a fan of onions. (I am, but alas, Greg is not.)

It makes a nice alternative to green salads, especially for picnics or potlocks.

Becky’s Crunchy Asian Cucumbers and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

I got the small cucumbers at Sprouts, but have also seen them at Whole Foods and Sam’s Club. There’s only a small amount of sesame oil, but it really packs a punch of flavor.

4 small cucumbers sliced thick, peel on

2 Roma tomatoes, cut in chunky slices

1 T. fresh dill or 1 t. dried dill

1/4 c. rice or other light vinegar

1 t. sesame oil

1 T. water

1 T. sugar

1 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

1 T. sesame seeds, toasted

Directions:

Place chopped cucumbers and tomatoes in a bowl.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in another small bowl and whisk.  Pour dressing over cukes and tomatoes  Let set for about 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.  Keeps well in a Tupperware-like container for at least one more day.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Crunchy Asian Cucumber and Tomatoes
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/05/03/crispy-oriental-cucumber-tomato-salad