I saw a recipe in Bon Appétit magazine a while back for an Asian smashed cucumber salad of sorts.
Then recently I came across an entirely different sort of recipe for a spicy tartar sauce, served over crab cakes.
Knowing myself quite well and recognizing the fact that I absolutely despise mayonnaise in every way, shape, and form, the tartar sauce was never going to happen (I’m not really a fan of crab cakes either). But for some reason, something about that 5280 cookbook recipe grabbed my attention, and kept it ~ and then called for smashed cucumbers.
I can’t really explain the idea other than remind you of the curious ways in which my brain connects and concocts.
Cucumbers aren’t even close to being in season!
But, no matter what the season, smashing cucumbers with the back of a rolling pin to soften the skin and create a texturally outrageous salad sensation is a “hit,” as is a spicy pickle dressing any day.
I chose to top my salad with a perfectly poached GIANT egg from little Lucy.
It was delightful.
Spicy Smashed Cucumber and Pickle Salad
1 large cucumber, smashed and then roughly chopped
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsp. stoneground mustard
2 tsp. capers, chopped
2 tsp. cornichons, chopped
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of paprika
pinch of sea salt
1 perfectly poached egg + flaky sea salt and pepper
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, mustard, capers and pickles, as well as the seasonings in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined.
Gently toss in the smashed cucumber.
Allow the salad to sit for about 20 minutes, until the flavors fully combine.
Top with a perfectly poached egg, flaky sea salt, and freshly ground pepper, if desired.