Organic Cucumber Apple Salad (Recipe)

I didn’t eat cucumber much before coming to France. Now it’s become a staple- and I usually have part of one hanging around somewhere in the fridge.

After farmers’ market on Sunday, I came home with an especially nice-looking, organic one that I mixed into a refreshing salad. Since cucumber doesn’t have a very strong taste on its own, I figured I could add whatever I wanted to my salad- and decided to try a savory-sweet combination. The sweet apples added a subtle, tart punch to the other ingredients and combined extremely well with the bit of red wine vinegar I drizzled over everything.

I also added some extra kick by throwing in a combination of freshly ground spices: black, white, green and pink peppercorns, plus dried coriander fruits and allspice (also known as Jamaican pepper). Pink peppercorns, by the way, are not really pepper, but dried fruits from the Baies rose plant (as it is often called).  Suggestion: put all the un-ground spices together in a pepper mill and use to flavor dishes (instead of just plain pepper). If you’re in France, you can cheat and purchase them already mixed together!

I topped it all off with some of the lemon thyme we’re growing in the window. Like common thyme, it’s nice for cooking and never overpowers the other spices. Unlike common thyme, this one really does smell like lemons.

Hint: Add the vinegar a little at a time, until it compliments the other ingredients- it shouldn’t be too strong, but abundant enough to create a nice contrast with the apples.


Shopping List

Cucumber

Apple (Jazz or Pink Lady, for example)

Belgian endive

Avocado

A few sprinkles of olive oil

A few drops of red wine vinegar

Salt

Freshly ground spices (see above)

Fresh lemon thyme


Directions:

1. Dice all fruits and vegetables and place them in a salad bowl.

2. Add the remaining ingredients to taste and toss with salad forks.

It’s that easy!

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