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Lessons from a Friend: ‘Gin & Ginger’ Cucumber Salad

In food circles, today is cause for a feast. If modern culinary pursuits have a patron saint, it is most certainly Julia Child. Born August 15, 1912 she became an American icon. The myth of Julia Child couldn’t possibly be larger and more grand than the woman herself; hers is a tale of triumph, reinvention and, above all, joie de vivre.

Julia Child’s greatest gift to the home cook was her affable and encouraging nature. As women though, she showed us that we can reinvent ourselves and explore new passions. She taught us to embrace our imperfections and that cooking is a venture to be enjoyed. In many ways, these are the lessons from a friend. Certainly the kind of friends I keep.

Early on, I gave my now best friend the title of “good food and wine friend”. We both grew up eating family dinners, though hers were more exotic than mine, and cooking with our respective mothers. She always seems to know of a good new (to me) restaurant and knows who is doing something new. Comfortable and accomplished in her own kitchen, I love her everyday recipe for baked eggs, she reflects that same spirit of making food approachable and wonderful as did Julia Child.

This simple recipe reflects the spirit of a quote attributed to Julia Child but was largely inspired by the delicious and approachable recipes my friend creates…and by her affinity for gin.

‘Gin & Ginger’ Cucumber Salad

2 English cucumbers, peeled
1 Granny Smith apple
1 scallion, whites and greens

For Gin & Ginger dressing:
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon regular yellow mustard powder
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons London gin
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon Sriracha

In a small bowl, mix ginger and mustard. Add remaining ingreditents and whisk until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

Dice cucumber and apple (I like pieces that are about 1/4″ or just slightly larger). Chop scallions. In medium bowl, combine cucumber, apple, and scallions. Pour dressing over salad and stir gently with a large spoon to combine. Serve chilled.

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.”
– Julia Child

Bon appétit.

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