When you go from extreme pickiness to happy omnivorousness, there are a few old prejudices that linger longer than others.
I quickly grew to love lettuces and leafy greens. Mushrooms, carrots, spinach, broccoli, even eggplant, that nemesis of picky eaters everywhere—all these I devoured with gusto after only a few initial cautious tastes. But two vegetables have taken me longer to warm up to: fresh tomatoes and cucumber. I’ve finally reached the point where I can bite into a whole tomato and let the lightly acid juice burst into my mouth without shuddering. I even enjoy it, if I don’t overthink things before hand. But I’m still getting used to cucumbers.
I’ve tried to analyse my dislike of cucumbers, and it seems to stem mostly from texture. Watery, boring, bleah. Fortunately, there are ways around texture, and I’ve been discovering more and more ways to genuinely enjoy cucumbers by pairing them with ingredients that provide a foil for the wateriness. One way is to slice it thinly and serve it on a nice crusty loaf of bread. Another way—and the one I have been turning to lately—is to add something crunchy, such as sesame seeds. Throw in some mixed greens and a tasty salad dressing, and you have a refreshing salad perfect for a warm summer day.
- 1/2 small or 1/4 large cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 plateful of mixed greens
- 1 T sesame seeds
- 1 recipe cider-basil dressing (below)
Mix everything together in a large bowl and serve. (This is how cooking should be in the summer. Lazy, but delicious.)
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
- 2 tsp finely snipped fresh basil
- pinch salt
Put everything in a jar, pop on the lid, and shake well.