Cucumber-Avocado Salad with Feta and Mint

by Food Hound on July 29, 2013

in Salads, Sides

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I returned home from an amazing, fabulous, amazingly fabulous trip to China to discover the following:

1. Duchess Kate had not yet had her baby, and I could breathe a huge sigh of relief. (If you think that wasn’t the first thing I checked when I touched down back into the world of Facebook, Twitter and Western media outlets, you are mistaken.  Then, of course, all the other world news… but only after royal bump watch because I’m one of those royal-obsessed people you love to love-hate.)

2. My sweet toddler learned no fewer than about 10 words in my absence, the sweetest of which was ‘please’ and the most irritating of which was ‘no.’

3. There must have been a post-apocalyptic movie called ‘Rise of the Cucumbers’ filmed in my refrigerator, because the two that I left in there prior to my Far East departure mated and had lots and lots of cucumber babies.

Every year I struggle with using all the cucumbers that find their way into my life via my CSA, garden, and friends getting rid of their surplus cucumber population to their most food-obsessed friend: moi.  Getting creative with cucumbers is even harder than getting creative with zucchini because, well, have you ever tasted a perfect zucchini bread?  Not something one tires of easily.  One can only eat so much tzatziki and Greek Panzanella (or at least so they tell me, because personally, I’m addicted to both), and I don’t have the necessary tools for canning, so I need to think outside the box, a.k.a. read lots and lots of my favorite blogs to discover new and exciting ways to love the cucumber.

Well… cucumber victory!!  Read on!!

This salad is kind of like tzatziki in salad form- creamy richness from the avocado and feta + mint + cucumber + awesome.  It’s a fairly chunky-textured salad, but that contrasts nicely with the smooth avocado and feta + crunchy cuke.  And who doesn’t love a way to sneak mint into every dish?  Especially when, if your mint plant is like my mint plant, it’s vying to usurp cucumbers and zucchini as Most Prolific Plant in the Garden 2013.

I know this salad only uses 2 cucumbers, which means I need to come up with a use for about 20 more, but I’ve already made this twice, and I’m just getting warmed up.  I mean, there are chunks of feta.  Chunks. Of. Feta. Everyone loves salads with chunks of cheese!  Click here for more Food Hound cheese chunk love.  Foods containing chunks of cheese are like guys who love dessert: winners.

I’m scary excited about the meal ideas I have in the hopper.  Not only are we in the throngs of the food orgy that is late summer (tomatoes, peaches, corn, OH MY!) but I’ve just come off 9 days of zero cooking.  Was it so refreshing to have a vacation with the hubs (and take the most awesome picture ever, see below)?  YES!  But now back to the business of the pleasure of making my cake and eating it, too.  And enjoying unlimited access to Western news.  And fantasizing about how my child will marry Prince George.

Keep calm and handstand on!  Food/Booze Hound at Huanghuacheng on the Great Wall.  BOOM!

Keep calm and handstand on! Food/Booze Hound at Huanghuacheng on the Great Wall. BOOM!

 

Cucumber-Avocado Salad with Feta and Mint
 
Adapted from Deux Dilettantes, featured on Food52
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • Salt
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup chopped mint
  • Juice and zest of ½ lime
  • 4-oz block of feta cheese, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T lime juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Slice cucumbers into ½-inch pieces and put in a colander. Generously sprinkle with salt and let sit in the sink for 30 minutes to drain. This will prevent your salad from getting watery. Quickly rinse and blot dry with paper towel.
  2. While cucumbers are draining, dice the avocados into ½-inch pieces and put into a salad bowl. Drizzle with lime juice and toss gently.
  3. Wash and coarsely chop the mint. Chop the lime zest.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 T lime juice and lime zest to make dressing.
  5. Add drained cucumbers, mint, feta cheese and dressing to the avocados and gently combine. Add pepper to taste. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Notes
I am always leery of any salad involving cucumber and its ability to be just as tasty the next day (because we all know I don't cook something that can't be turned into lunch the next day! Can I get an amen?). The verdict is that although it does become a little watery the next day (or 2 or 3), the cucumbers retain their crunch AND the avocado stays fresh from all that lime juice. Win, win!!

 

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