Cool Is Cucumber Mint Salad
Stateside recipe, Cool Cucumber Mint Salad is Inspired by the international flavors of Tzatziki and Raita…Greek-style yogurt, cucumbers, mint, and spicy cumin…
This cucumber mint salad recipe is among my all-time favorite easy-to-whip-up summer salads and one of the most delicious ways to enjoy off-the-vine fresh cucumbers from the garden or your local farmer’s market!
Cucumber salad -
Perfect with chicken, fish, and spicy foods...
By now you’ve probably figured out that I love to play around with recipes and flavor combinations. I also love mixing things up by experimenting with new ways to prepare and enjoy seasonal vegetables from our garden, especially during the scorching heat of summer, come August, when days are hot, and the humidity is high.
Our garden, by the way, as many of our family and friends have pointed out is, “a very busy little garden.”
In acceptance yet, at the same time in full-on defence of our abundant plot, I’ll argue that our garden is a bountiful paradise of Midwest vegetable varieties. Though admittedly, I do get a little crazy every year when planting it.
Let me tell you about my very busy little garden...
This year you’ll find ten types of peppers, six different squashes, three sorts of cucumbers, pickling pickles, a dozen different lettuces, and at least eight kinds of tomatoes. There are three basils, three kales, yellow and green beans, green and purple cabbage, four different types of eggplant, cantaloupe and honeydew melon. I planted okra, sweet corn, onions (red, yellow and white), potatoes (reds, blues, and Yukon golds), carrots, beets, fennel, leeks, radish, swiss chard, pumpkins (the pie kind, and ginormous ones for my grandkids). Well, yes you might say that our garden is a little busy.
Considering that there is only my dear hubby and me to eat from it, this year, like every other year, I end up giving a whole lot of the harvest away to family, friends, neighbors, and local charities.
Growing a busy little garden is something that my dear hubby and I have done for nearly forty years. Over those years we’ve been asked why we do it amidst our busy careers, keeping up the property we call our Lac du Nibiinaabe, family visits, and generally being busy with life?
WHY Do We Do It?
One might think it’s because we love the fresh veggies, which we do. Maybe it’s because it’s a priority for us in doing our best towards living a healthy life, which it is. Or maybe it’s because we’re bad with spatial-dynamics and planning or we’re obsessed with trying to have and do it all (heaven knows we’re not perfect, and we’d certainly love to be able to fit everything in).
Do we enjoy the roto-tilling, planting, cultivating and digging, sweating, toiling, watering, and weeding the dirt? Not necessarily, although we are quite sure that doing it is good for keeping our bodies youthful and at the very least passively exercised.
So why do we grow such a busy little garden that produces way more than we could ever hope to eat and enjoy ourselves, knowing that we will be giving more away than we keep?
After much pondering, appreciating a few glasses of wine, and gorging ourselves on a summer vegetable-rich supper, here is what we came up with.
We grow so much in our busy little garden to be able to give some away while enjoying the variety and freshness of everything we grow.
It’s our way of spreading and sharing our passions for cooking, eating healthy, and enjoying freshly grown produce with family, friends, neighbors, and people in our community. Those who we know and love, others who we’ve never met, folks who are unable to grow a garden themselves, or maybe someone who might be going through a tough spot in their life and could use some fresh veggies.
I love it when someone accepts something grown from our garden, and they ask, “How can I fix this?” or, “Oh, I’ve never tried this before.” And, my heart especially melts when dropping off veggies at church or a local shelter when the kids come running out to help unload the car, enthusiastically calling out, “Mama, we’re gonna’ be eatin’ Gooood… tonight!”
It’s a – daily living, giving, thing that we can do.
A neighbor helping neighbor sort of thing to do.
A healthy food, cooking, and recipe sharing thing to do.
And, bottom line, for us, it’s the Christian thing to do.
It’s a happy thing – NOT a pat us on the back sort of thing, but the sort of a good thing that you do when you simply are joyful and glad to be able to do a little “something” that spreads happiness in a little sort of way with others.
Giving the excess of our garden-grown food away somehow justifies the work it takes to do it, turning the whole evolution of the process from painstaking to an outcome that makes a lot more sense than just composting what we’re unable to use.
Making Hay While the Sun Shines...
August at Lac du Nibiinaabe is a task-packed month. It’s a month when our busy little garden is producing bushels of bountiful vegetables. It’s a month with lots of “putting things up” as my grandma always called it when the canning and preserving season hits us full speed. It’s a month when I’m looking for quick, easy and delicious suppers, salads, and sides to grace our table and fill our belly’s. It’s a month when I’m joyful, glad, and eager to be able to share what God has graced us with from our busy little garden.
Whether you’re using cucumbers from the market or growing your own, serving up this naturally refreshing cool and creamy cucumber and mint salad to cool down from a scorching hot day or to quench a spicy barbeque, it’s truly a refreshing flavor combination to savor and enjoy!
Cool Is Cucumber Mint Salad
- mixing bowl
- 3/4 cup Greek Yogurt plain
- 2 tablespoons fresh Mint chopped
- 1 tablespoon Shallot minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground Pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
- 2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
- 4 medium Cucumbers paired, seeded and diced into 1/2" x 1/2" cubes (about 3 ½ -4 cups)
- Lettuce or other greens
- Paprika to garnish
- Mix the yogurt, mint, shallot, salt, pepper, cumin, and vinegar. Add the cucumbers and toss lightly. Let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
- Serve on lettuce or other greens with a garnish of paprika if desired.
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(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)