When it comes to simple, fresh, and rejuvenating salads, it's hard to go wrong with a cucumber base. Comprised of 95% water, the vegetable brings a refreshing note while still imparting a satisfying snap. Yet not all cucumber varieties are created equal -- it can be disappointing to purchase a batch and get a soggy or bitter salad in return.
So, for the best cucumber flavor and texture, grab the Persian variety at the grocery store. Small and smooth, they have far fewer seeds and contain less moisture than bigger English cucumbers, meaning they won't become slimy or sloppy in salads. Approximately six inches in length, they're easy to work with and have a beautiful deep green exterior. And the taste delivers, too, with an extra cucumbery flavor upheld by a gentle crispness. Plus, they're relatively easy to find. Look for them in large or specialty grocery stores, where they're usually in plastic-wrapped containers, as they're more delicate than other cucumber types. It's a variety that's sure to check all the tasty salad boxes.
Persian Cucumbers Give Salads A Dense, Tasty Backbone
What's commonly referred to as a Persian cucumber is a relatively new product, first created in Israel in 1939. Its pleasant mild taste and delicious texture quickly became a hit, spreading worldwide. With Iranians' predisposition to cucumbers, they became affiliated with the Middle Eastern nation, hence the name Persian. So, to showcase their refreshing and crisp nature, use these cucumbers in dishes like creamy mizeria salad. The variety will pop alongside the yogurt and dill dressing, elevating the simple combination of ingredients.
Or, utilize their palatable flavor with bolder additions, turning to Asia for inspiration. Craft into a smashed cucumber salad that's packed with Thai flavors, including fish sauce, chile oil, sugar, and vinegar. The Persian variety's texture holds up well to marinating in various acids. Alternatively, look to Korea for inspiration and add spicy gochugaru and soy sauce into the mix. No matter the flavor composition, the Persian variety yields the ideal salad base.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.