Summer is the time of year when our gardens, farmers’ markets, and grocers are bursting at the seams with a beautiful abundance of produce. It’s also the time of year when we least desire to be in the kitchen, preparing elaborate suppers for our families. (The heat usually saps our appetites for such anyway.)
Saving the hard labor for the requisite canning and preserving, try out this simple summer dish with some of the most common home-garden crops — cucumbers, peppers, melons, and herbs — that you can toss together in a few moments time.
• 2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, chopped
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 cup diced watermelon, optional
• 1/2 red onion, minced
• Handful fresh basil, chopped
• Handful fresh mint, chopped
• 1/2 small hot pepper (like jalapeno), seeded, minced (keep some seeds if you like it hot)
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
• Sea salt
1. Place chopped cucumbers in a colander with the salt. Toss to coat evenly. Allow to drain for 30 minutes. Dump cucumbers onto a clean tea towel and squeeze dry, then transfer to a medium bowl.
2. Add the watermelon (if using), onion, herbs, and pepper and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and agave nectar. Pour over the salsa and toss to coat. Season with salt (go easy at first since the cukes marinated in salt first). Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve with corn chips, pita bread, or leaves of endive.