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.
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.