Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Smashed Cucumbers

July 21, 2017 by General Administrator

This delightful recipe is apparently from Turkey. The original version calls for mulberries. If you have access to a mulberry tree do substitute the lovely, seedy berries for the blackberries.
Smashing the cucumber (instead of slicing it) gives it a rough, shaggy surface that happily absorbs flavours.

Smashed Cucumber, Blackberry and Pistachio Salad
Serves 4

1/2 cup pistachios
3 Canalside cucumbers, peeled or not, as you prefer.
1 teaspoon salt, to salt the cucumber
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yoghurt
about 20 mint leaves
2 tablespoons dill, chopped
additional salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
8-12 Canalside blackberries from the pick-your-own orchard

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the pistachios (don’t add any oil) and toast them gently until they are golden. Keep an eye on them so that they do not burn. Once they’re toasted remove them from the pan and leave them to cool a bit.

Put the cucumbers on a board and, using a rolling pin or any other such implement, smash them into large chunks. Alternatively, you can crush them by using the side of a large kitchen knife.

Toss the cucumber chunks with the teaspoon of salt and put them in a colander to allow some of the water to drain out. Leave them for at least 10 minutes, and longer—up to an hour—if you have time. Then rinse the cucumber chunks to remove the excess salt.

Place the rinsed pieces of cucumber in a bowl and toss them with the pistachios, yoghurt, mint and dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the mixture onto a serving platter and drizzle with the pomegranate molasses. Top with the blackberries and serve.

(Recipe adapted from Silvana Rowe, Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean.)

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