The herbs are up, and every time I look at them, I feel happy and inspired to cook. This salad came about from spending time in my ever expanding mint patch yesterday.
Persian cucumbers, if unfamiliar, are technically like all cucumbers, a fruit, but are usually treated and eaten as a vegetable. They are members of the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. When it comes to cucumbers, there are three classifications: slicing, burpless and pickling. Persian cucumbers are classified as burpless cucumbers, which tend to be less bitter, milder in flavor and thought to contain less of the burp-causing compound, cucurbitacin.
Their skin is smooth and thin their flesh is crisp, sweet, succulent, and void of developed seeds. They have an amazing capacity to retain water and to remain cool. In fact, it has been found that their interior flesh may be up to twenty degrees cooler than their skin. The perfect Persian cucumber measures 4 to 6 inches in length, as this is the size when they are at their peak of sweetness. If allowed to grow bigger, bitter tasting seeds can develop which compromises the cucumber’s sweetness.
Creamy Turkish Cucumber Salad with fresh dill, mint, lemon and yogurt – the perfect side to Mediterranean-style grilled meats and fish.
- 1 ½ lbs Turkish cucumbers ( 7–8 small cucumbers or 2 English Cuc’s )
- ½ Cup to 1 Cup fresh dill- chopped
- ½ Cup fresh mint- chopped
- ⅓ C finely sliced red onion
- 3/4 C plain Greek yogurt
- ½ C Sour cream ( or sub yogurt)
- ⅛ C fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 2 garlic cloves- finely minced or grated
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- cracked pepper
- generous pinch sugar
- 1 T olive oil
- ⅛ C water
- Rinse cucumbers under cold water. If using Persian or English cucumbers, leave peels on. Using a mandolin, or sharp knife, slice into thin uniform disks and place in large bowl. Add chopped dill, chopped mint and thinly sliced onions.
- In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients -yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt pepper, sugar, olive oil and water, and stir until smooth. Pour over cucumbers and stir to combine. Taste for salt, and lemon, adjusting if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: Total time: 15 mins Yield: 6
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