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A bit of magic happens when you sprinkle salt over cucumber. It changes. Everything it lacked, it is given; and everything it had, gets better. Once you have gently rinsed the salt from the cucumber, it goes into cider vinegar, where the hocus pocus continues. Dill, a herb I never seem to tire of no matter how much I cook with it, is a really key flavour in this simple but nonetheless enchanting salad.
1 Large, Firm Cucumber, peeled and sliced into 2–3mm (1⁄16–⅛in) rounds
2tbsp Cider Vinegar
1tbsp Unrefined Caster Sugar
2tsp Toasted and Crushed Coriander Seeds
1tsp Cracked Black Peppercorns
½ Bunch of Dill, finely chopped
4 Spring Onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
A few Borage, Dill or Fennel Flowers, to finish
Place the cucumber slices in a colander, sprinkle over the salt and carefully turn the cucumber through it, trying to separate the slices as you go. Set the colander over a bowl to collect the briny liquid that’s drawn out.
After 25–30 minutes, rinse the cucumber slices in a large bowl of fresh, cold water to remove the excess salt. Return them to the colander and let them drain off thoroughly. Place the drained cucumber in a clean bowl.
Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and pour the mixture over the cucumber. Add the crushed coriander seeds, cracked black peppercorns and chopped dill and spring onions and turn through the cucumber, making sure everything is well mixed. Leave to stand for 30 minutes before serving scattered with a few borage, dill or fennel flowers.
Recipe from Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower by Gill Meller
Published by Quadrille Books
Images by Matt Austin