While technically a fruit, most of us probably use cucumbers as a vegetable.
Because they are so mild, they can work well with a variety of other ingredients, but they seem to do particularly well with other things things that have "fresh" flavors.
Cucumbers act a bit like a sponge- taking on other flavors, but they are still able to hold their own and maintain their uniqueness.
I think this is a good example of a classic cucumber-based dish. It's an easy to prepare and refreshing summer salad, Greek in flavor, and one we've been eating quite a bit lately.
The flavor combination is perfect with the salty and slightly tangy feta and the fresh herbs.
It works very nicely as a side with grilled meats, or even with pita or crackers.
Cucumber and Feta Salad
serves 6 or more
3 large English cucumbers (about 1 1/2 lb or 700 g prepared)
coarse or kosher salt
1/4 c (60 ml) olive oil
1 T (15 ml) water
1 1/2 T (about 22 ml) lemon juice
6 oz (170 g) feta cheese, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper
generous 2/3 c (110 g) diced red onion
generous 1 T (5 g) chopped fresh mint
generous 1 T (5 g) chopped fresh parsley
generous 1 T (5 g) chopped fresh dill
Peel and seed the cucumbers. Cut cucumbers into a large dice and salt them with 2 t (14 g) salt. Toss the cucumbers and place in a colander over a bowl. Let the cucumbers sit 30 minutes to 1 hour to drain, shaking the colander occasionally.
While the cucumbers drain, mix the olive oil, water, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
Once the cucumbers have finished draining, give the colander one last shake and place the drained cucumbers in a large bowl. Add the previously prepared lemon juice dressing, the feta cheese, several good grinds of black pepper, the onion, mint, parsley, and dill.
Fold the salad together to combine. Taste and season as desired with extra salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice.