I first had this salad at Mother’s Dumplings on Spadina. If you haven’t been yet then you definitely have to go, for the dumplings definitely and also for this delicious salad. Ridiculously simple and utterly delicious, it is guaranteed to become your go to salad for al fresco dining this summer.
Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, help freshen breath, keep you hydrated and help to maintain a healthy weight. One cup of sliced cucumber is only 16 calories and while that certainly is not a lot it tricks your body into staying full faster.
“The soluble fiber in cucumbers dissolves into a gel-like texture in your gut, helping to slow down your digestion.” – Mercola.com
The secret to a great smashed cucumber salad is in the smashing – this allows the cucumber to soak up more of the vinaigrette. The best way to smash a cucumber is with a large cleaver (you can also use a large chef’s knife) as demonstrated in this video from Omnivore’s Cookbook:
In the video they suggest peeling the ‘tough skin’ of the cucumber – but when using an English cuke I really don’t think that’s necessary. And you want as much of the skin as possible because that gives the salad a nice bright colour but also gives you more fibre. Here’s the simplest recipe you’ll ever meet. Enjoy!
Smashed Cucumber Salad
2 English cucumbers
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds to garnish, optional
Toss everything together and let sit for 20 minutes to an hour before serving to allow all the flavours to marinate.