Chilli and Cucumber Salad

This is based on a salad I had at the School of Artisan Food in Welbeck, Nottingham. It was a summer side dish that I thought was so fresh and refreshing and made from the simplest of ingredients. I knew I had to make it at home.

Chilli cucumber salad

I couldn’t get the taste quite the same, so the next time I went I asked what was in the dressing. They didn’t give me the exact recipe, but they did tell me it contained white balsamic vinegar, something I hadn’t tried before. I went home and tried various dressings until I came up with the one below.

I’ve used fresh and zingy mint and coriander here, but it works just as well with dill.

For extra crisp cucumbers, I have tried salting and using ice water but I normally just make this and eat straightaway.

I have all the ingredients chilled ready in the fridge as it tastes best eaten cold on a hot day.

1 large cucumber
1-2 red chillies – depending on heat
10 mint leaves, rolled and very finely shredded, plus a little extra for the top
Small bunch of coriander/cilantro, leaving some aside

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Chilli cucumber salad1

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.

Slice the cucumber lengthways and using a spoon, remove the seeds slice into semicircles.

Slice the chillies lengthways and carefully remove the seeds and white membrane and very finely chop.

Toss everything in a bowl and add enough dressing to moisten. Place in your serving bowl or platter and scatter over additional herbs.

This is a lovely salad to serve with grilled fish, chicken tikka or lamb kebabs and flatbreads.

Cucumber salad close up 2

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