Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Cucumber Salad, and How I Love My Mandoline
I used to think mandolines were a worthless gadget...not worth the effort of storing and changing the slicing plates (and, for the accident-prone, cutting yourself in the process). Then I met my love, and everything changed. She doesn't have interchangeable plates to mess with, and she can switch from thinner to thicker slices with the turn of the knob. She is slender enough to hang on my wall. More importantly, she is cherry-red. I had to have her.
I use my mandoline all the time now for fancy paper-thin slices that trick people into thinking I have good knife skills and/or spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I like to slice carrots paper-thin and eat them raw with a light sprinkling of salt as a snack. I also absolutely adore cucumber salads.
The basic recipe goes like this: Slice a cucumber very thin. Add a splash of rice vinegar, a splash of sesame oil, and a light drizzle of agave nectar. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if you are so inclined. Toss to coat. This makes a great side salad, and is also good layered on sandwiches. The vinegar is preservative so it keeps a few days in the fridge.
(EDIT: By the way, my red beauty is a Kyocera adjustable mandoline.)