Hot Kissed Cucumber – 60 second vegetable
“This is a great little side dish served with grilled salmon or teriyaki beef, garnished with a sprinkle of toasted cashews, peanuts, or toasted sesame seeds.”Tom Brown of Cornerstone restaurant in Hackney, interviewed in The Telegraph
I’m all for simplicity and so I love this suggestion by Tom Brown, a former protégé of Nathan Outlaw, for giving a bit of interest and zing to cucumber in a matter of seconds. That’s why I’ve named it Hot Kissed (from KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid) Cucumber.
The idea of serving cucumber hot, and treating it more like a vegetable than something to contribute a crispy freshness to salads is not new to me. See, for example, both Cucumber Is Hot! and Hot And Cold Passionate Salad. But I have to hand it to Mr Brown – this is super-fast, and super-good.
To be fair, the cucumber is more of a conduit for the garnish, although knobbly Lebbanese cucumbers have a bit more flavour. The garnish is key, and the cucumber should be generously encumbered with it.
It goes well with salmon or thin leaves of beef (see Super-Quick Italian Carpaccio); it is also good as a lunch with crusty bread, goats’ cheese, and maybe some salami.
This is what to do:
Recipe for Hot Kissed Cucumber
Serves – 2
- 1 medium sized cucumber
Sesame oil Garnish – could be toasted and chopped peanuts or cashews; mixed seeds (I use ‘munchy seeds’); sesame seeds; and if serving with fish or seafood, furikake. The important thing is to be generous. Drizzle… optional, could be rich, thick soy sauce, pomegranate molasses, or thick balsamic vinegar
- Get the sesame oil good and hot, and meanwhile slice the cucumber in half, lengthwise.
- Put cut side down on the hot oil (beware spitting). If the cucumber is not completely flat, push down with a fish slice, so the entire cut side gets crispy-golden.
- Serve, topped with your garnish of choice, and, optionally, drizzled too.
Music to cook to
Rita Hayworth sings I’ve Been Kissed Before