Cool as a Cucumber

Vietnamese Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Peanuts
It's already the end of April and we've got some hot days in the upcoming forecast. Mr. B told me that it's going to be in the 90s this weekend, which is fine by me. When the weather gets hot, I like to lounge by the pool, enjoy a good book and then when I get hungry, I have Mr. B fire up the grill and cook us up something delicious. This weekend, we're going to go with my famous Vietnamese chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves.

I like to serve this Vietnamese cucumber salad alongside the chicken, but truthfully, I don't even need the chicken for this one. It's a delicious, cooling salad, but with the addition of chopped smoked (pickled) jalapeños, it's got a nice kick to it. As usual, I pile in tons of basil, cilantro and mint and then top it with chopped roasted peanuts.

You don't need a pool to enjoy this salad. As a matter of fact, you don't even need a hot day; all you need is a love of spicy, sweet and ethnic and of course, you've got to like cucumbers.

Vietnamese Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Peanuts

2 large cucumbers, peeled, cut lengthwise, seeded and then thinly sliced
1 generous handful of basil, chopped
1 generous handful of cilantro, chopped
1 generous handful of mint, finely minced
1 thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup of chopped, smoked jalapeños
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons hot water

1. Mix together hot water, red pepper flakes, salt and sugar in a bowl.
2. Add thinly sliced onions, cucumber, jalapeños and cucumber.
3. Pour rice vinegar over salad; stir to combine.
4. Cover bowl with a plate and allow the salad to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
5. Lift plate and stir in basil, cilantro and mint; let marinate for 15 minutes.
6. Just before serving, sprinkle with coarsely chopped peanuts.


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