When it gets really hot and humid, I get nostalgic, or delirious, about my childhood summers. Without AC, on New England’s hottest summer days we’d jump in a lake or sit in front of a fan (speaking like Darth Vader, of course). Dinner was served cold, following a swim, and dessert was ice cold out of the freezer, usually juice frozen in a popsicle mold.
Summer meals were fresh from the garden. We would wake up in the morning to a list of chores, which included a pic list to of ripe vegetables to harvest. My Mom would send us out with a woven basket…
You just rolled your eyes so far back in your head you can see yesterday.
This really was my childhood. We really did pick green beans, tomatoes and peppers in the morning. We swam in Pelham or Puffer’s ponds. And no, mom would not get us those sugary frozen tubes of bright blue, red and orange ice, no matter how hard we begged. But she made a mean cucumber salad, and I lived for fried rounds of breaded, egg-dipped squash cut from large zucchinis.
I admit, I had it pretty darn good, but I’m still excited to go home to air conditioning tonight.
Cucumber Zucchini Salad
- 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced.
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup Merlot* or another red wine Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup Arbrosana* or another good quality Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 2 tbs chopped dill and parsley
*Sapore’s cool choices for this hot weather salad. Merlot is a beautifully balanced red wine vinegar, not the typical prickly acid-bomb from the grocery store. Arbrosana is bold and green. Buy ’em online.
- Mix together cucumbers, zucchini and red onion in a large bowl.
- Make dressing: mash garlic and a pinch of coarse salt into a paste.
- Whisk together garlic paste with Merlot Vinegar and mustard.
- Whisk oil into dressing in a thin stream to form a creamy emulsion.
- Whisk yogurt into dressing. Fold in herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Dress vegetables starting with about 2/3 of the dressing and adding more as needed. Season to taste.
- If not serving immediately, season to taste before serving.