Our farm grown cucumbers, fresh out of the warm, sun kissed polytunnels, are mind-blowingly delicious! Nothing like the almost tasteless supermarket ones, these are the real deal. If the kids don’t get to them first as a snack, this is one of my favourite things to do with them. Smashing the cucumber before dressing it really opens it up and makes more craggy surface areas for the dressing to cling to. We often eat this summery side dish with simply boiled rice, some baked or fried tofu and spicy kimchi.
- 1 large or 2 small cucumbers
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1/2 a lime – juiced (or 1 tbsp apple-cider/rice-wine vinegar)
- 1/2 a garlic clove – crushed or finely grated
- 1/2 thumb of fresh ginger – finely grated
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds – toasted
- 1 tsp chilli flakes – optional
- 2 sliced scallions – optional
- Give the cucumber a rinse, then place it on a chopping board and cover it with a clean tea towel to prevent bits of cucumber flying around your kitchen in the next step.
- Bash or crush the cucumber with a something heavy or blunt. Rolling or bashing a tin of beans or a wooden rolling pin along its length with a fair bit of weight behind it will crack open the insides beautifully. Or you could press a heavy saucepan over it or whack it gently with a mallet. You don’t want to smash it into mush, rather crack and break it open and lightly crush it so that there are lots of wild, craggy shapes inside.
- Remove the tea towel then break and slice the cucumber into bite sized pieces. Place the pieces in a bowl and make the dressing.
- Stir together the toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, lime/vinegar, garlic and ginger.
- Pour the dressing evenly over the smashed cucumber, give it a quick stir, then top with toasted sesame seeds, chilli flakes and sliced scallions.
- Serve with rice, tofu, kimchi…or as a side to a barbecue!
I used the same dressing to marinade a romanesco cauliflower before roasting it as another side to this meal and it was absolutely delicious! Highly recommend!