July 20, 2018

Cucumber, herbs and onion salad for summer

Cucumber, herb and onion salad

If you follow my Instagram, you know that I just harvested a couple of cucumbers from the garden. I planted cucumbers for the first time last year and liked getting cucumbers for a quick salad from the garden when they were ready.

This year, the cucumber plants have sort of taken over the garden. There are two pepper plants growing next to them, but are now completely hidden by these massive cucumber plants.

I am wondering if I should move the pepper plants. Do you think it will survive the move?

I took both the cucumbers and used it for dinner last night. I cut some cucumber for the kids and for us, I made a quick cucumber salad. For this sudden inspiration, I just used what was available at home, and like most of the recipes here can be customized to your ingredients and taste.

I used basil and parsley - herbs growing in the front porch. But cilantro and mint would taste good too. I used aged cheddar cheese but feta would also be a good option. The onions give a kick so I would recommend it.

Add a slice of crusty bread and it can make a good lunch option too.

Here is how I did it.

(serves 2)

1 1/2 medium cucumbers
handful of basil - chopped
handful of parsley - chopped
1/4 cup chopped cheddar cheese
1/4 onion - thin slices and separated

For dressing
1/2 tspoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tspon lemon juice
salt to taste
some fresh ground black pepper

Peel and cut the cucumbers to cubes. Add in the herbs, onions and cheese.
Whisk the dressing in a separate bowl and pour it over the salad.

Cucumber, herb and onion salad

Mix and serve.

July 16, 2018

Vietnamese summer rolls

Vietnamese summer rolls

It's been a while since Nicole and I did a cooking play date. We were finally able to find a time to cook together and we decided on making some Korean bibin bap.

It turned out great, except, we forgot to take pictures. We were so busy talking and having fun that it totally slipped our minds to take pictures. I promise to come back with the recipe and step by step picture.

But I do have some summer rolls to share with you. This is what you need to survive the hot summer -- with some crunch, fresh herbs and a tangy dip.

Your need a rice paper, some fresh vegetables, maybe some protein and some fresh herbs. The rolling is the key and once you do a couple the rest will get easy. The only trick is to do it quick, before the paper gets too sticky.

Here is how we did it.

(serves 4)

 6-8, 9" round rice papers
1 cucumber peeled and cut in long strips
1 pepper cut in thin, long strips
small bunch of lettuce leaves - separated
fresh basil leaves

For dipping sauce
1/2 lemon juice
dash of sesame oil
2 1/2 tbspoon soy sauce
1/4 tspoon sugar
some sesame seeds

Vietnamese summer rolls

Get all the ingredients for summer rolls chopped and ready. I kept it simple, but you could add some fish (shrimps are popular), or chicken or even tofu and make it a meal.

Mix the pepper and cucumber with some lemon juice, salt, sugar and pepper. Set it aside for 10 minutes.

Once you are ready to make the rolls, get a couple of pepper and a couple of cucumber sticks and put them inside a lettuce leaves. This way you won't be putting it all separately.

Now the rice paper has to be soaked in water to get the summer rolls ready. Some recipes I saw called for luke warm water. I just used room temperature and it worked nicely.

Once you are ready to assemble, take a big bowl of water and soak the rice paper in it for about 30 seconds.

Take the rice paper out and lay it on a board. Put 3-4 basil leaves in the middle of the paper. Then add the lettuce packet on top. and roll the paper from both sides to make a roll. Then cut in through the middle. Assemble them till they are all ready.

Vietnamese summer rolls
To serve, cut the rolls in diagonal to serve. Mix all the ingredients of the dipping sauce it's ready to serve.


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