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Vegetarian Recipes

Cucumber Salad

https://www.loveandlemons.com/cucumber-salad/

The first time I tried a sweet, vinegary cucumber salad, I was hooked. The cool, crisp cucumbers burst with tangy flavor, onion added just the right amount of bite, and a sprinkle of dill gave it an addictive, pickle-like taste. When English cucumbers started popping up at the farmers’ market this summer, I immediately thought of that first bite of cucumber salad, and I knew that I wanted to make a version to share with all of you.

This cucumber salad recipe is the quintessential summer dish. Like all the best summer recipes, it requires just a few ingredients to pack a big punch of flavor. It’s delectably salty & sweet, and the chilled cucumbers and onions are super refreshing on hot summer days. It takes just 15 minutes to make (including 10 minutes of hands-off chill time), so toss it together and enjoy it as a dinner side or – like me – eat it straight out of the bowl!


Cucumber salad recipe ingredients


Cucumber Salad Recipe Ingredients

The best thing about this bright, fresh, addictive cucumber salad recipe is that it requires just 8 ingredients:

  • English cucumber! I use a mandoline to get my slices nice & thin.
  • Red onion. The thinner these guys are the better, so if you have a mandoline, use it for the onion as well as the cucumber.
  • Rice vinegar, sesame oil & honey combine to make a light, sweet & savory dressing for the crisp veggies.
  • Dill & mint. This combo adds delicious freshness to the cool cucumbers and onions.
  • Pickled mustard seeds. I list these as optional, but I highly recommend using them. Their flavor is a great complement to the dill, and they add tangy complexity to this super simple cucumber salad.

Add a sprinkle of sea salt, and you’ve got everything you need!

How to Make Cucumber Salad

This cucumber salad recipe is easy to toss together. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. First, add the sliced English cucumbers and onion to a large bowl along with the honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, salt, and fresh dill. Toss it all together and put the bowl in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
  2. After the mixture has chilled, transfer it to a serving dish, leaving behind any excess liquid.
  3. Top the cucumber onion salad with fresh mint leaves and pickled mustard seeds, if you’re using them.
  4. Season to taste and enjoy!

What to Serve with Cucumber Onion Salad

I have a hard time not gobbling up this salad as soon as I toss it together. On the days when it makes it to the dinner table, we love this recipe as a side dish with classic summer picnic fare like veggie burgers, black bean burgers, BBQ sandwiches, portobello mushroom burgers, and corn on the cob. It’s also delicious served with grilled vegetable kabobs and generous dollops of tzatziki.

The sweet rice vinegar & sesame oil dressing makes this cucumber salad recipe a great pairing with Asian flavors as well. Try it as a side with soba noodles, crispy tofu, or banh mi sandwiches. Add a scoop to a watermelon poké bowl, or pair it with sushi, spring rolls, or summer rolls to make a light meal.

If you love this cucumber salad recipe…

Try my watermelon salad, orzo salad, broccoli salad, Greek salad, or pasta salad next, or head to this post to see more of my favorite summer salad recipes!

Cucumber Salad

Author: Jeanine Donofrio

Recipe type: Side dish

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon agave nectar or honey
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onions
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
  • Pickled mustard seeds, optional (recipe below)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional
  1. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, agave nectar, cucumber, onion, salt, sesame oil, and dill. Toss to coat and chill for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, leaving some of the excess water behind. Top with fresh mint, dollops of pickled mustard seeds, if using, and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Season to taste and serve.
Pickled Mustard Seeds
½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup water

3 tablespoons cane sugar

½ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup yellow mustard seedsCombine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stir in mustard seeds, reduce the heat, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until the mustard seeds are plump.

Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.

 

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Vegetarian Recipes

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

“I want you to come watch the movie with us ON the couch, not be in the kitchen!”

I’ve been filling out this one-question-a-day journals for moms that I received for Christmas. It records a little thought or memory over the last year, and then starts again, so you can see how your answers change over a few years. One of the recent ones, prompted me to jot notes about what I am learning as a mom, and I found the question so general I was basically annoyed. I am a romantic, and also wildly pragmatic. In the span of a day I can tear up over the depths of love I feel for my kids, and also wish for them to have a mute button. We all have worlds within us; mothering pushing me into the corners of myself I am sometimes proud of or other corners ashamed of, but am I learning? Yes, every single day. Sometimes in the moment and other times after a particular season. But in 2021, my answer in the bullet journal was that I see my kids are wanting me to play with them. They aren’t registering all the service and shuttling and laundry and what it takes to pull off a week, they just want to play WITH me. It’s natural for me to move within lists and tasks and responsibilities and hustling, but playing is something I have to pay attention to. For them and for me. We usually do a family movie on Friday nights and my son (6.5), see quote above, pointed out that I don’t actually watch the movie, I tinker in the kitchen and he wants me in the couch cuddle. Flattered, and found out that I’d rather make granola than watch The Croods 🙂 So from annoyed, to passing on the question to fellow parents, what are you learning? Try not to be annoyed. Maybe circle back to it.

I published this recipe over on SKCC a few weeks ago and wanted it to live here. We’re trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian recipes (it’s easy for me to fill up on roasted veggies and big salads, not so much for the kids). This batch lasts us two meals – once with noodles, maybe half zoodles, and the second round on toast or english muffins with cheese melted on top, like a pizza sort of thing? It freezes well and is great to deliver to new parents.

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion – roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 head of cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 12 oz. riced)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts pieces
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds – crushed
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of red wine (or broth of any sort, and double the vinegar to mimic the wine’s acidity)
28 oz. of canned, crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of red lentils
red pepper flake to taste

For serving

12 oz. of pasta or choice, zoodles, etc.
parmesan
fresh, torn basil

Directions

In a large Dutch-oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic into smaller bits. Add them to the pot with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, about 3 minutes.

Pulse up the cauliflower florets to get a rice-like texture. Add the riced-cauliflower to the pot and sauté to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pulse the walnuts in the processor and add those to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, fennel seed, another few generous pinches of salt and pepper, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Sauté until fragrant.

Add the red wine, cook about 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, lentils, pinch of pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, put the cover ajar and let it simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust.

Cook your pasta or zoodles according to instructions. Top with cauli Bolognese, grated cheese, fresh basil and enjoy!

The Bolognese will keep in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a few months.

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