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Herby Cucumber Salad

This salad redefines salad expectations in the best way possible.

Light, crisp, and fresh, our Herby Cucumber Salad will redefine the conventional notion of a salad. What makes a salad memorable is the combination of flavor and texture. A good salad doesn’t need much more than something green seasoned with salt, fat, and acid – in this case, salt, olive oil, and fresh lime juice. What takes this salad to the next level is the addition of fresh jalapeño. This Herby Cucumber Salad shifts salad expectations in the best way possible.

As you might immediately notice, there’s no “salad” in this salad, meaning, no lettuce, although the cilantro and parsley provide a leafy green element. The “meat” of the salad is cucumber, thinly sliced. The ribbons of cucumber offer a certain elegance and a wide canvas to take on the simple flavors of the dressing made from olive oil, salt, lime juice, and zest.

I want to make this salad memorable, and the best way I can think to accomplish that is by adding heat, heat in the form of fresh slices of jalapeño. If the idea of hot jalapeño is intimidating, the simple solution is to remove the seeds. The seeds are where the hot comes from in a jalapeño and when you remove them you’ll significantly pull back on the spiciness. I like to have that kick here for a delicious balance of flavor.

And that’s it! The success of the salad is due to the delicate yet simple balance of flavor and texture, it hits on all cylinders, as one might say – it is cool and crisp, a little bit spicy, with a limey tang that just all makes sense. Good food made with the right ingredients and you’ve got one fantastic Herby Cucumber Salad.

Herby Cucumber Salad is from the Baja-Style Taco Party at Table for 12. It is served with Crispy Beer Battered Fish Tacos, Borracho Baked Beans, Grilled Corn Esquites, and Dulce de Leche Lava Cakes.

Grilled Corn Esquites

Serves 5

15m prep time

Rated 5 out of 5
Rated by 1 reviewers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cucumbers, peeled around center with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup cilantro sprigs, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced & zested
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Toss cucumbers, jalapeños, cilantro, parsley, lime juice, and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper right before serving.
  2. Plate ribbons on a platter, then garnish with lime zest.

Herby Cucumber Salad is from the Baja-Style Taco menu at Table for 12.

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