Sunday, 2 February 2014

More Cucumbers

So my cucumber challenge continues for today and then it will be time to tempt you with other flavoursome dishes.

Again, Adelaide is facing some really hot weather, back up into the 40's C.  
So, these recipes are just what you need for stinky hot days. Sometimes it is so hot that I feel sure my brain is melting and it is hard to concentrate even on the simplest task. I think it has already been recorded as the hottest summer on record and yet there are still people who don't believe in climate change!

I found a recipe for Cucumber Sorbet and I thought it would team well in with the Basil Ice Cream I made a while ago, but alas after a few attempts I could not get a consistency that I was happy with. I have changed tack now,  I think hot and I think BBQ and I think quick, and I have come back to salads. 

The first salad to tempt you is one to complement a Tofu Burger with Wasabi Dressing (recipe included). Both the salad and burger are easy to prepare and ideal for this time of year. Secondly, a sweet salad teeming strawberries with cucumbers and an unusual dressing.

So get out your BBQ and you can cook the burgers outside so your kitchen stays cool, unless of course you are in the Northern Hemisphere when the heat from the cooker will help defrost your feet.

 Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad

1 continental cucumber, peeled
30g sesame seeds (toasted in a dry frypan)
1/2 red onion very finely sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbls rice wine vinegar

This is best made with a mandolin for slicing the onion and cucumber. Once sliced place in a small bowl with salt, sugar, rice wine vinegar and sesame seeds. Mix all together and set aside for at least 1 hour before using.
Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

                               Tofu Burger with Wasabi Dressing

Burger Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
1 red onion, finely chopped
375g packet firm tofu
200g small firm mushrooms, chopped
1/2 bunch coriander
3 cups breadcrumbs made from 3 slices of bread
2 tbls tomato paste
2 tbls hot chilli sauce
2 tbls balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbls olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
300g sesame seeds toasted

For this recipe I used a firm, organic tofu. It really doesn't work so well with the soft variety.
In a small frypan, add olive oil and cook the onion until soft. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Cool.
In a food processor add 250g of the hard tofu chopped, garlic, coriander and process under it looks pretty smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and grate the remaining tofu into the same bowl and mix together. Add the onion and mushroom mixture . Add chilli sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper and juice from 1/2 lemon. 
Add 2 cups of breadcrumbs and mix well. Shape into  8 patties and cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Take out of the fridge and use the remaining 1 cup of breadcrumbs to coat the outside of the patties before cooking on your BBQ. Remember to add a little oil to the BBQ before cooking to avoid them sticking. Alternatively, you can toast some sesame seeds and use these to coat the burgers instead of the breadcrumbs, or do both.

Wasabi Dressing

2 tbls Wasabi
1/2 cup mayonnaise
squeeze of lemon juice

If you haven't used Wasabi before, take care because it is extremely hot.

Mix the mayonnaise, Wasabi  and lemon juice together to make a nice runny consistency. Taste it before adding to your burger so you don't end up getting a nose bleed.

Cucumber and Strawberry Salad

1 continental cucumber
250g strawberries
3 tablespoons honey
10 mint leaves
5 tbls Buderim Refresher Ginger Cordial  or similar

Slice the cucumbers and strawberries and place in a serving bowl.
Chop the mint leaves very finely. Mix the ginger cordial, honey and mint together and dress the strawberries and cucumber. Simple and sensational. Great flavours that go so well together.


  1. Yummo! Who knew there was so much to be made from the humble cucumber?

  2. Yes Kylie, since writing this post I have noticed a fair number of other recipes using cucumbers. I think my challenge has been met this time. Thanks for dropping by.