Because fresh produce is one of the best parts of summer, this recipe highlights all of that goodness: fresh cucumbers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and asparagus all work together to give you a shaved cucumber salad that reminds you of summer afternoons, childhood, and all things good.
I used to sit outside on a lawn chair under the lilac tree. The tips of my toes would touch the cool green grass while the fragrance from the white lilacs would greet my nose. And I would read. I would immerse myself in worlds hundreds of years old, and get surprisingly lost in horse drawn carriages and petticoats and lamp light.
Several feet away, my mother would kneel, turning up soil, tending her garden. She would pick spent leaves, trim the branches, and then pull out weeds. She would work, I would read, and we both would lose track of time. Afternoons would fly by like this, until she realized that my dad would be coming home shortly and we had nothing ready for dinner.
Summer dinners would be simple out of necessity, because we would be short on time. She would gather the vegetables she had picked and make easy salads. Cucumbers dressed in nothing but rice vinegar, water and a pinch of sugar would be refreshing bites on those humid New York nights.
I thought of her as I shaved some cucumbers the other day. As a result, I decided to make my own version of her simple salad. Thinly sliced cucumbers and red onion looked so elegant dotted with tomatoes and asparagus. Each bite of this shaved cucumber salad was cool and refreshing, and certainly brought me back to my mother’s garden. I could almost smell the lilacs. And I could definitely taste summer.
It’s time for my second Wedding Registry Kitchen Must-Have Giveaway! I’m constantly trying out recipes, so from purees to soups, thin slices to pastry doughs, I am constantly reaching for my Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor. I’ve already mentioned how awesome it is – and I’m so excited to be able to share one with one of you!
Wedding Registry Kitchen Must-Have Giveaway:
Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor Giveaway
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Rebecca L. on winning an awesome Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor!
Ready to enter? Here’s how:
- Please leave a comment below and feel free to share: What will you tackle with this food processor?
- Bonus entry: Share this page on Facebook and leave another comment saying so.
- Entries/Comments accepted until 10 pm Pacific, Sunday, 12 August, 2012.
- One winner will be randomly selected and notified by email.
- This contest is open to US residents only, my apologies to my international friends!
Disclosure: In celebration of their newly launched Wedding Registry, Wayfair is generously sponsoring this giveaway by giving one winner a Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor. I am grateful to their support and for making this giveaway possible. The author was not compensated for this post/giveaway, and all opinions are strictly my own.
More Summer Salads
Podcast Episodes on Fresh Produce
Listen to my conversation with Nick Brown (Rincon Tropics) on growing “no frills good fruit”
My conversation with Chris Drew (Ocean Mist Farms) on all things artichokes
Learn about blueberry farms from my converstaion with Kimberly Sorensen (Triple Delight Blueberries)
Shaved Cucumber Salad
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 small red onion
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 4 stalks asparagus
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Trim both ends of cucumber. Cut in half and slice in thin strips, using either a food processor or mandolin. You can also slice it crosswise, and a knife will work just fine. Do the same with red onion.
- Cut the tomatoes in half, and cut the asparagus in 1 inch pieces on the diagonal.
- Place all the vegetables in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar, water and sugar. Pour over the vegetables and toss.
- Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes to take in the flavor. Arrange on a platter to serve.