Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad

Middle Eastern Cucumber SaladThis Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad recipe is ideal for mid-summer lunch or dinner. With Farmer’s Markets crammed with perfectly ripe vegetables, this bright, refreshing, and seasonal salad can be a side dish or a main course, as it’s full of texture, flavor, and zing.

This salad is forgiving and can be adjusted to what you can get in the grocery store or Farmer’s Market. As cucumbers are a large part of the salad, one can choose Salt & Pepper variety or the English cucumbers, that add crunch, moister and refreshing quality to the heat of the season.  Zucchini and starburst squash, red onion, orange segments, cherry tomatoes (or heirloom | grape | pear) mix with Italian leaf parsley and microgreens, bringing a combination of summers nutrients, ripe flavors, and divine textures. These vegetables are tossed with or drizzled (up to you and how you choose to plate the salad) in a Middle Eastern Salad Dressing.

This multi-purpose dressing uses the grapefruit flavors from the cascade hopped Sierra Nevada Pale Ale blended with malt vinegar, orange zest, salt, and a fruity extra virgin olive oil. If there is any leftover ‘cooking with beer’ salad dressing, try it on mixed greens, spinach, little gems or create your own salad blend.

Middle Eastern Cucumber SaladSome of the zing found in this salad comes from the Middle EasternMediterranean spice blend called Za’atar. This spice blend brings health benefits, history, and cultural origins all into play. Thyme, oregano, and marjoram mix with sumac a tart and citrusy Mediterranean shrub, which adds a nice touch of earthy twist. Then sesame seeds and salt add extra texture and crunch to whatever it is added too.

This Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad would benefit from modifications of added fennel bulb, shaved thin, pea shoots, ribbons of carrots, using Malt Pickled Red Onions, Za’atar Roasted Eggplant or making it not Vegan, but Vegetarian with a pool of Greek-style plain yogurt underneath the vegetables. Try topping the salad with crumbled feta cheese, goat cheese, or a Homemade Ricotta Cheese with Roasted Garlic & Herbs. Serve with some hot Homemade Pita Beer Bread!

To create a refreshing beer pairing, try serving a citrus-forward India Pale Ale (IPA), a tart Gose with a touch of salt or wild fermented and blended Belgian Gueuze, dry and herbaceous Saison | Farmhouse Ale or a Belgian Witbier, with it’s orange and coriander infused wheat beer characteristics.

 

Serves: 4 guests

 

Adapted from BeerAdvocate Magazine: Cuisine à la Bière | Jul 2017 | Issue #126

Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad
Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad
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A perfect late Spring or Summer meal, this Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad topped with a Middle Eastern Salad Dressing and Homemade Za'atar spice is packed full of textures, flavors, and zing!
Servings Prep Time
4 guests 20 minute
Servings Prep Time
4 guests 20 minute
Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad
Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A perfect late Spring or Summer meal, this Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad topped with a Middle Eastern Salad Dressing and Homemade Za'atar spice is packed full of textures, flavors, and zing!
Servings Prep Time
4 guests 20 minute
Servings Prep Time
4 guests 20 minute
Ingredients
Middle Eastern Salad Dressing Ingredients:
Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad Ingredients:
Servings: guests
Units:
Instructions
Middle Eastern Salad Dressing Directions:
  • In a small sealable jar, add the olive oil, malt vinegar, Pale Ale, citrus zest (using the fruit segments for the salad), salt, and pepper. Seal and give it a good shake. This dressing is best if allowed to sit for 30 minutes to infuse all the flavors together. Refrigerated it keeps for up to a week.
Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad Prep Directions:
  • Wash and clean the vegetables. Cut the salt and pepper cucumbers into eighth-inch wedges, leaving the peel on. If you’re using a Persian-style cucumber, peel the skin, as it can be a bit thick. Seeds can be removed, if large, and hard to chew.
  • Remove the ends of the zucchini and squashes. Using a mandoline, cut the squashes into long thin ribbons. A sharp knife will also work; just remove a thin strip and roll the squash onto this flat edge to help stabilize the vegetable before cutting into ribbons.
  • Peel the onion and remove the root end. Cut the onion in half through the center core. Lay each half onto a cutting board and slice the bulb thinly.
  • After the citrus has been zested, cut the ends off the top and bottom of the fruit. Using the tip of the knife, cut in an arch, removing the white pith and skin. Pick up the fruit, orienting the segments vertically in your palm. Take note of the membrane and using the knife, slice just the inside of the membrane, cutting to the center of the fruit. Next, on the opposite side of the segment, cut on the inside of the membrane, creating a citrus supreme, free of any membrane. Repeat this step, with each segment, working your way around the fruit, until all the supremes are removed. The citrus can be served as is, or if a modern twist to this salad is warranted, carbonate the supremes to simulate beer bubbles. For this technique, visit chefs-table.homebrewchef.com/recipe/carbonated-citrus.
  • Remove the stems of the tomatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Set aside.
Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad Assembly Directions:
  • On a large platter or divide between individual plates, arrange the cucumbers in a row. Next, layout some of the squash ribbons. Now add some of the red onion crescents. Be sparing if the onion is strong. Intersperse the orange supremes, sprinkling any remaining zest over the row of prepared vegetables. Place the tomato halves with some cut sides facing up and others down. Add leaves of Italian leaf parsley to give the salad a pop of color. If using microgreens, add these over the vegetables. Then re-shake the dressing and lightly dress the vegetables with a few spoonfuls of the vinaigrette. Last, but not least, sprinkle the Homemade Za’atar over the salad, giving the completed dish additional texture, flavor, brightness, and contrast.
  • This summer salad will pair with Pilsner, Pale Ale, IPA, Saison, Brown Ale, Gose, Berliner Weiss, or Blonde Ale. Serve with Homemade Pita Beer Bread or other regional breads, along with hummus, grilled or roasted meats (also marinated and garnished with za’atar) as well as some dips and dressings.
Recipe Notes

More Middle Eastern Beer Cuisine Recipes:

Baba Ghanoush 200
Baba Ghanoush
Beer Hummus
Beer Hummus
Chicken & Turkey Köfte with IPA
Chicken & Turkey Köfte with IPA
Homemade Pita Beer Bread
Homemade Pita Beer Bread
Homemade Za’atar
Homemade Za’atar
Hoppy Tabbouleh
Hoppy Tabbouleh
Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad
Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad
Middle Eastern Falafal
Middle Eastern Falafel
Pomegranate Rose Stout Yogurt Sauce
Pomegranate Rose Stout Yogurt Sauce
Roasted Asparagus
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Tahini Orange Brown Ale Sauce
Tangerine IPA Yogurt Sauce
Turkish Lamb Köfte with Stout
Turkish Lamb Köfte with Stout
Za’atar Roasted Eggplant
Za’atar Roasted Eggplant

Sean Paxton

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