Recipes | Smacked Cucumber and Crispy Green Salad with Zingy Ginger Dressing


Smacked Cucumber and Crispy Green Salad with Zingy Ginger Dressing

Although Jenny's Chandler's new book is called Green Kids Cook there are plenty of recipes that would appeal to adults too including this deliciously crunchy salad which provides an answer as to what to do with kohlrabi (I never know).

A perfect project for the summer holidays ahead - what better gift can you give your children than teaching them how to cook? (And look after the planet as they do so)

Jenny writes: "Bashing and splitting cucumber is traditional in Chinese salads – the cracks and rough edges soak up the dressing beautifully. This is a perfect salad for a hot, hot day.

Smacked Cucumber and Crispy Green Salad with Zingy Ginger Dressing

Makes 4 servings

1 medium cucumber

1⁄2 small kohlrabi, about 150g/5oz (optional)

150g/5oz beansprouts or home-sprouted lentils or mung beans, well washed

2 spring onions, sliced

Zingy Ginger Dipping Sauce (below)

1 baby gem lettuce

a small handful of coriander leaves

a few mint leaves

a handful of roasted peanuts

1. Place the cucumber on your chopping board and bash it firmly with a rolling pin, splitting the skin but not completely squashing the flesh. Hit it four or five times and then roll it over and do the same on the other side.

2 Now chop the cucumber into 2.5cm/1in chunks (it’s easiest to slice it lengthways and then chop up the slices) and place in large bowl.

3 Chop the long, leafy stems off the kohlrabi (these leaves can be sliced up and cooked in a stir-fry). Peel the round vegetable carefully, then cut it in half. Cut a few thin slices and then cut across these into matchsticks. Add to the bowl along with the beansprouts and the spring onions.

4 Pour over your zingy ginger dressing and place the bowl in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, slice the lettuce crossways into slivers, wash in a sieve or salad spinner and drain well.

6 When you are ready to serve, take the cucumber salad from the fridge, toss in the lettuce and herbs and top with the peanuts.

Do try kohlrabi if you can find it. It looks a bit like a space alien but it has a really mild flavour and the crunchiest texture imaginable.

And how about…

• adding a sliced red chilli for some pingy zing?

• serving this salad on top of cold, cooked rice noodles?

• wowing everyone by throwing in a few chunks of melon or watermelon?!

Zingy Ginger Dipping Sauce

Makes 4-6 servings

2 tbsp light brown Muscovado sugar

3 tbsp hot water

4 tbsp light soy sauce

4 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or lime juice)

3 spring onions, sliced

3-cm/1-in piece of fresh ginger

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 Put the sugar into a small bowl, add the hot water and stir to dissolve.

2 Stir in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and spring onion.

3 Now grate the fresh ginger, skin and all, using the finest grater possible. Stir the juicy paste into the sauce.

4 Put the sesame seeds into a small pan over a medium heat and toast, shaking the pan gently after 1 minute, until the seeds begin to jump about.

5 Carefully tip the toasted sesame seeds into the sauce.

What to drink: Anything appley or limey would be delicious with this dish or an alcohol-free ginger beer

Extract from Green Kids Cook by Jenny Chandler (Pavilion Books). Image credit Kirstie Young. Knowing Jenny as I do I know she would love you to buy this from your local indy bookshop but if you don't have one near you you could order it through which will channel the order through a bookshop of your choice.

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