If you love to cook (or eat), you’re probably spending a lot of time at the farmer’s market lately. Who can resist overflowing pints of fresh blueberries, ears of corn still damp with morning dew, and tomatoes in every color of the rainbow? In all that summer bounty, I always find myself overlooking cucumbers. But cucumbers are delicious too! And they also pack in more nutrition than you’d think.
Emerging research has found that cucumbers contain both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain lignans that are thought to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer. Their high water content makes them hydrating (essential on hot summer days!) and low in calories.
Cucumbers pair perfectly with sweet watermelon, mango and basil in this salad from The Love & Lemons Cookbook. It’s the kind of salad that works for a summer get-together, but it’s simple enough to pack into a bento for a weekday lunch too. I have a huge collection of cookbooks and this book has been my favorite this summer because it’s full of fresh, seasonal recipe ideas that are practical for a working mom like me.
Purchase The Love & Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio on amazon.com
Cucumber Basil & Watermelon Salad
- 1 tablespoon 15 mL tamari
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- ½ teaspoon 2 mL minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons 10 mL fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons 10 mL rice vinegar
- 3 cups 750 mL ½-inch (1-cm) cubed watermelon, deseeded
- 1 English cucumber chopped into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces (just over 2 cups/500 mL)
- 1 ripe mango skin removed and chopped into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces
- ½ serrano pepper thinly sliced
- ¼ cup 60 mL chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup 60 mL sliced basil
- ¼ cup 60 mL salted peanuts, crushed and toasted
- In a large bowl, whisk together the tamari, garlic, ginger, lime juice, and rice vinegar.
- Add the watermelon, cucumber, mango, serrano pepper, cilantro, and basil. Chill for 30 minutes. Drain a little of the excess liquid before serving.
- Serve with the crushed peanuts on top.