By Katherine Rossmoore
Better Living Through Local Foods
I made a variation of this cooling salad this week at the Plymouth Farmer’s Market where I was a guest culinary demonstrator. I had a blast using fresh vegetables from the farmers there. Thank you to Martha Stone, Lieza Dagher, and all the vendors who helped me out by providing vegetables!
For inspiration, my husband had harvested a big cucumber from our sweltering back yard. Sweltering may be the perfect word to describe the weather this past week. Dehydration can be a huge problem in this type of heat wave; one of my sons has had headaches stemming from dehydration his whole life. Sometimes, drinking lots of water just isn’t enough and we are all faced with the dilemma of what to eat in this high heat, particularly something cooling that isn’t ice cream. This salad was inspired by Angela Liddon’s blog Oh She Glows; I created a similar hydrating cucumber salad to the one she created with roasted spiced chick peas. Having made the chick peas three times now, and discovering that they don’t withstand the humidity and stay crispy, this time I opted for using just the peanuts on top, (but, I’m including my own version of the chick peas: a little spicier, just in case you want to make it when it’s less humid.) I also found, in my culinary exploration of this salad, that you can use radishes, salad turnips, daikon radish, or just plain radish-less if your brain is addled from the heat and you decide to just use cucumbers, onion and cilantro, adding yellow mango instead just because you forgot them in your overly-stocked fridge and they need to be used and the color is pretty…
2 medium cucumbers
½ Cup of sliced red onion
1/3 Cup sliced radish or salad turnip or daikon radish
½ Cup of roughly chopped cilantro
¼ Cup of chopped roasted peanuts
Roasted spiced chick peas, optional
Optional other additions: diced mango, diced sweet red pepper
½ Cup rice vinegar (use unseasoned or seasoned)
1 ½ teaspoons raw honey, ( or sugar)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Optional: ¼ t crushed red pepper
Start with the dressing! Whisk the ingredients together in the bowl you’re going to put the salad in, adjusting for more sweetener to taste.
Peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise; then, scoop out the seeds using a regular table teaspoon. Slice these into small smile shapes, and cut in half if larger than bite sized. Toss the cuke slices into the bowl with the dressing. Then chop the rest of the vegetables you are using. If using salad turnips or radishes, you can use a box grater or mandolin to very thinly slice and they also look so pretty that way! Toss all of the vegetables in with the dressing and then roughly chop the cilantro and add that as well, tossing well, then refrigerate while you do the rest.
Marinate in the dressing 20 minutes or more. And the chopped peanuts and spicy chick peas right before serving.
Spicy Chick Pea Recipe
1 can organic Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained.
½ t olive oil
1 t sea salt
½ t garlic powder
½ t ginger
¼ t turmeric
½ t chili powder
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a jelly roll pan with paper towels and very lightly dry the chick peas, dabbing with the paper towels until they are dry.
Put the chick peas in a medium bowl, add the olive oil to coat and then the rest of the spices, turning well to coat.
Put the chick peas on a large baking sheet (or, I used the jelly roll pan lined with parchment and throw out the paper towels). Roast for 20 minutes, give the beans a shake, and then roast for 15-20 minutes more for crispness, keeping a watchful eye to make sure they don’t burn. Make sure you cool them before adding to any salad.
Katherine Rossmoore is an integrative health and wellness guide, using her love of clean whole foods and cooking to help people demystify the healthy kitchen. She is also a writer, mother and certified yoga teacher. Find her at www.betterlivingthroughfoods.com