A Caribbean flu hit our household in Haiti this week. First Paul, then me, now the kids. Sigh. During times of illness, my go-to comfort food is the reassuringly simple, cool, and refreshing cucumber. Cucumbers are my vegetable equivalent of chicken soup. As I gradually felt better throughout the week, my cucumber salads became more elaborate and flavorful. This Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad, a Thai-inspired riff, is crunchy, sour, and salty, with a hint of coconut sweetness.
Yield: Serves 4 as a side
- 4 small cucumbers, unpeeled, seeds removed, cut into small pieces (substitute 2 english cucumbers)
- 3 small shallots, thinly sliced (substitute 2 tablespoons minced red onion)
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, whole or halved
- 2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened coconut
- 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (can substitute another mild vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (substitute your favorite hot sauce)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients (lime juice, fish sauce, rice vinegar, canola oil, sugar, red pepper, garlic).
- Toss the salad ingredients (cucumber, shallots, cilantro, peanuts, coconut) together in a big bowl and pour over the vinaigrette. Mix to combine. Serve within 1 hour.