May 16, 2012

Cucumber, Pineapple, and Tomato Salad

It was warm tonight. It felt like summer, and M and I felt like having a light and cool dinner. It was all we could stomach after a too-hot run outside that left us both wondering just how out of shape we'd allowed ourselves to get recently. Life has just been too busy for regular exercise! But it was delightful to be outdoors, moving, seeing everyone out and about.

Anyway, we had a big platter of sushi, but to me that's never enough by itself. We needed an accompaniment that would compliment the Asian flavors in our meal. I also did not want to light up the stove.

This cucumber, pineapple, and tomato salad was the perfect addition to our outdoor dinner. You'll love the combination of heat from the jalapeno and sweet tang from the pineapple and lemon. The cucumbers and tomatoes are just perfectly crisp and cool. Although the ingredients in this summer salad do not seem like likely companions, they meld together beautifully. When the weather heats up, I can't imagine anything better than a beautiful and scrumptious salad to make for a beautiful and relaxing weeknight.

Cucumber, Pineapple, and Tomato Salad
1 large cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, then halved again, and sliced thinly
sea salt
1 large tomato, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 to 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small 1/2" inch slices
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1" of a fresh jalepeno, seeds included, finely minced
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/8 cup fresh chopped basil

Directions: In a medium bowl, toss the cucumbers with a generous amount of salt. Pour into a mesh sieve and allow to sit 1 hour while the excess water drains out. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Add cucumbers, pineapple, tomatoes, and onion to the bowl. In another small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, garlic clove, and sugar. Add the cooking oil and fish sauce and stir. Pour the dressing over the vegetables in the bowl, then add jalepeno, cilantro, and basil. Stir until well combined. Serve immediately. Chill leftovers. 

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