Monday, August 20, 2012

Sesame Cucumber Salad

Perfect Pairing: Handheld Mandoline

Happy Monday! 
Is the sign of a great weekend being totally exhausted on Monday morning?   If it is, that means I had a ridiculously awesome weekend. 
A few friends made the drive to the lake on Friday night and we caught up over appetizers, wine, and Loaded Questions (fantastic game, by the way).  Saturday we all headed to Dixon, IL for the Mumford and Sons Concert.  Dixon has a population of 15,000 and they sold 15,000 tickets for this concert.  It was quite the experience!  The people watching was….. something else.  I can’t say enough about the Mumford and Sons performance.  They were absolutely amazing.  It was probably one of the best live performances I have ever seen.  I will definitely see them again.  Here are a few pictures from the day in Dixon.

We started our Sunday with brunch and champagne on the boat, which didn’t suck.  I ended the weekend on a high note.  Last night I had dinner (9:30 reservation, yikes) at the famous Next Restaurant in Chicago.  Whoa…. It was remarkable.  I will definitely be posting all about that experience.  We were at the Chef’s Table which meant we could look right into the kitchen.  This foodie was in heaven. 
I may be in detox mode for a few days to recover from the corndog in Dixon and the Sicilian menu at Next!  This Sesame Cucumber Salad sounds pretty perfect right now.  It is light, fresh, and easy. 
People who love to garden probably have an abundance of cucumbers on their hands right now.  I have made it clear that is not an issue I have to deal with!  Garden cucumbers would go to fantastic use here.

There is a decidedly Asian flavor to this salad because of the sesame oil, rice vinegar, and cilantro.  It would be great alongside a spicy curry or Thai dish.   It would also be fantastic with BLTs or deli sandwiches.
The Perfect Pairing for Sesame Cucumber Salad is a handheld mandoline.  I have always had a soft spot for cooking gadgets.  I also have a weird attraction to infomercials.  This could be a bad combination.  I spotted a handheld mandoline at Sur La Table and decided I needed it.  I may have pointed it out to my dad and planted a “stocking stuffer” idea in his head.  I’m glad it stuck!  Some mandolines are pricey but this was under $20 and totally worth it.  I could have cut cucumbers all day long with this thing.  It was pretty amazing.  Just keep in mind, that sucker is sharp, so watch the manicure.  I also used it to slice the red onions.  There is an adjustable dial on the back to change the width of the slice.  I went with a smaller setting for the red onions, which was perfect.  Love this gadget!  Expect to see some beautifully sliced things on here in the near future. 

Sesame Cucumber Salad
Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing

·         2 seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced
·         ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
·         ½ cup tightly packed cilantro, chopped
·         1 Tb toasted sesame oil
·         ¼ cup rice vinegar
·         1 ½ tsp honey
·         Salt and pepper
·         2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Add the cucumber slices, red onion, and chopped cilantro to a bowl, toss until evenly distributed. 
In a small bowl whisk the sesame oil, vinegar, and honey.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, to taste.  Pour over the cucumbers and toss gently.  Top salad with toasted sesame seeds.  Chill and serve.


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