Salads, Starters & Sides
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Cucumber Salad Rings with Cilantro-Honey-Lime Dressing

Cucumber Salad Rings with Cilantro-Honey-Lime Dressing

Yes, we already know that I love the fresh combination of cucumbers and cilantro. With the addition of creamy fresh mozzarella, peppery arugula, crisp apples and crunchy peanuts, this refreshing and tasty starter makes a wonderful accompaniment to any summer menu!

The inspiration for this recipe came from my friend Denise. It’s based on a version she raved about. I made a number of adaptions to Denise’s original version because, frankly there are some things I love and so added them them to the list of ingredients. Case in point: cilantro. Love it in practically e v e r y t h i n g.

I love how creative this recipe looks but to be honest it took me ages to actually get around to making this. I had even gone so for as to buying the ingredients for it a total of THREE times (four if you count my miserable fail). Yes, I was running away from it a little. It looks labor intensive to make, but actually it’s super easy. Okay, I admit, it wasn’t as super easy to make as I had imagined. It took me two attempts. The first time, I tried using a knife to achieve super thin slices of cucumber. Denise used a knife. Apparently she is a super star with a knife. I failed miserably. I proceeded to make a cucumber smoothie with the butchered remains and frustrated at my attempt, ate a bowl of popcorn for dinner. The next day, I went out and bought TWO cucumbers — and I used a mandoline, working my way from the outside of the cucumber until I had my four perfectly formed strips. Success. As for the second cucumber, it landed in my morning smoothie (aside from all the water, they are actually chock full of vitamins and great at balancing out electrolytes, plus they are great for a number of other things — read more here).

So after mastering the mandoline, guess what? The rest is pretty much as easy as it gets! Plus this dish will give you some major presentation points when you serve it. Just stand back and look modest.

Cucumber Salad Rings with Cilantro-Honey-Lime Dressing

Cucumber Salad Rings with Cilantro-Honey-Lime Dressing

Cucumber Salad Rings with Cilantro-Honey-Lime Dressing

Cucumber Salad Rings with Cilantro-Honey-Lime Dressing

Serves 4

juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 organic English cucumber
3 handfuls arugula, chopped (about 75 g)
2 tart apples (e.g. Granny Smith or Braeburn), peeled and cored, finely diced
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (50 g)
1 ball buffalo mozzarella (125 g), chopped
1 avocado, peeled, cored and thinly sliced, as garnish
radicchio leaves, as garnish (optional)

1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, zest, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper and cilantro.

2. Trim the ends of the cucumber and using a mandoline, slice the cucumber lengthwise into 4 long thin strips. Using a spoon, remove the seeds from the remaining cucumber, then dice into small pieces.

3. In a small bowl, add the cucumber, arugula, apple, and chopped peanuts. Mix together with the dressing until combined.

4. Shape the cucumber slices into four rings. To do so, bring together the ends so that they are overlapping; secure with a toothpick. Stand the rings upright on four serving plates.

5. Fill each cucumber ring evenly with salad mixture, then top with mozzarella. Garnish plate with avocado slices and season with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!


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