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Well guys, I think it is officially hot…the time when we think twice before turning on the oven (at least in the afternoon.) So I have been looking around for some new takes on salad. This recipe is served as a dip, but when I made it the other night with my first cucumber of the season (thank you Harvest Moon Garden,) I doubled it and served it over some salad greens as a side dish with some grilled lamb steaks. It was cool and yummy, just perfect with lamb and since we have access to the best feta from Trail Ridge Farm and Grade A Goat Dairy and lovely herbs from White Hills Farm, LLC and Southern Native Plantings at Longwood Plantation, you cannot go wrong.
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into pea-sized pieces
- coarse salt
- 8 ounces (225g) feta cheese
- 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely-diced
- 1 tablespoon (each) chopped fresh mint, parsley and fresh dill
1. Place the cucumber pieces in a colander, mix with a light sprinkling salt, and let drain 30 minutes to an hour, shaking the colander from time to time.
2. Crumble the feta into a bowl and mash together with the olive oil, lemon juice, water, and a few turns of black pepper.
3. Mix in the cucumbers, onions, and herbs. Taste, and add more salt if desired.
Serve with toasted or soft pita triangles or crackers.
This recipe couldn’t be easier. You just mix everything up and serve it, and it’s actually fine to make a day ahead. The salt and pepper are to taste, and because feta and feta-style cheeses vary, if you’re unsure, add a small amount and re-season as you go. The last time I made this, one guest professed not to like cucumbers. Like, at all. And she not only had one helping, but helped herself to seconds.
Once you make this, you’ll find yourself craving it over and over again. So consider yourself warned.