In case you’re wondering why the photo shows a salmon fillet when the title mentions no such thing, it’s because the salmon is merely incidental to this entry. This is about what’s beneath the salmon — the bed of veggies that you see in the photo. It’s a very simple cucumber and carrot salad that you can prepare in under ten minutes and it goes well with grilled fish or meat.
Why piquant? Because unlike most Western salad dressings that have a sharp acidic flavor, the acid in this dressing is mellowed down by the sweetness of sugar. Instead of sharply acidic, the dressing is pleasantly acidic. It more understandable when you have tried and tasted the dressing.
As for texture, the salad is sprinkled with toasted cashew nut bits and tossed with crisp onion leaves and the ever-controversial cilantro which you either love or hate. I belong to the cult of cilantro lovers. If you’re not, you can always substitute a milder-tasting herb like parsley.
Piquant cucumber and carrot salad
- 2 cucumbers peeled and shredded
- 1 carrot peeled and shredded
- 2 to 3 tablespoons crushed cashew nuts toasted in an oil-free pan
- 12 onion leaves
- a small handful of cilantro roughly chopped
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Press the shredded cucumber in a strainer to remove as much water as possible.
- Take ten onion leaves and cut into two-inch lengths. Cut the two-inch lengths vertically as finely as you can manage.
- Cut the remaining two onion leaves into rings; reserve for garnish.
- Place the cucumber, carrot and onion leaves (NOT the garnish) in a bowl.
- Stir the ingredients for the dressing until the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Toss lightly.
- To serve, place a bed of salad on a plate. Place your grilled fish or meat on top. Sprinkle with the toasted nuts, reserved onion leaves and cilantro. Serve at once.