… Sometimes. When you get easy (looking), timely, and drool-inducing recipes, then it’s okay. Junk mail, however, from Jessica Simpson’s handbag brand is never bueno.
That said, Tasting Table’s Chef’s Recipes email is something that I look forward to every week. Sometimes, the recipes are too ridiculous but offer a peek into a chef’s mind, other times, the recipes are completely doable and send me straight to Whole Foods right after work. Today’s post is one of the latter.
When I first saw the original recipe, it screamed summer solstice to me. Not that foodstuff reminds me of my lunar calendar, no, but the recipe did make me pull out an extra linen sheet so that I could have a picnic in my patio, just to relish the one long day of the year. And something cold and fresh like a cucumber crostini with a glass of cold, cold pinot grigio is what this summer’s going to be all about – albeit an uhealthier preview, but yes, this is what summer 2010 is going to be all about: sunshine, outdoor nommage, and fresh, fresh food.
The original recipe comes from an enotoria in Boston, and is requires zucchinis. However, if you’ve been around me or read this blog for long enough, you are already aware of how zucchinis and eggplants always attempt to kill me. Damn nightshades and squashes. So I substituted the zucchini with a similar looking summer fruit that I like to munch on – cucumbers. I use Japanese cucumbers, the thin, curvy ones, which are more readily available to me, but I’m sure that your Persian or English cucumbers would work fine and dandy as well.
Cucumber Crostini – serves 4
Adapted from Crostini with Zucchini Pesto, by Chef Oringer
3 large cucumbers, grated coarsely
1 tsp sea salt
3 garlic cloves
¼ cup basil (more like a huge handful)
1 tbsp thyme leaves
½ cup marcona almonds, toasted and finely chopped
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or just Parmesan)
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp finely grated lemon zest (organic only!!!)
3 + 1 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into ¼-inch slices (10~12 slices)
First, grate the cucumber coarsely. Sprinkle sea salt over it, massage it in, and leave be for 5 minutes.
Then drain the sucker.
While your cucumber mound is dehydrating, mince the garlic, basil, and thyme together. Set aside.
Don’t forget to chop up your Marcona Almonds! Don’t skimp, because regular almonds are not going to be as sweet as the Marconas. They’re readily available at your neighborhood Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
Combine drained cucumber, chopped herbs, chopped almonds, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil (3 tbsp). Chill until serving time.
Getting hungry? Then brush your remaining olive oil on your cut-up ciabatta and toast.
Load toast with cucumber mixture and nom. Happy summer!