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Tomato/Cucumber Salad

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 March 2012 at 08:41
A salad of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers is ubiquitous to the Mid-East. The major difference is whether or not they include cumin as part of the dressing.
 
A trick I learned from Adreas Viestad (author of Where Flavor Was Born and Kitchen Of Light) is to use the oil and acid separately, rather than combining them in a vinegraitte, as is common. In theory this should not make a difference to the taste. But as somebody once said, in theory, theory and reality are the same. In reality, they're not.
 
Rather than slicing the tomatoes and cukes, I cut them into oversized julliane strips. Here's my take on
 
Mid-Eastern Tomato & Cumcumber Salad
 
2 tbls cumin seeds
3 tbls sea salt
1 large cucumber
2-3 tomatoes
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon wedges
 
Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until lightly colored and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Combine the cooled cumin seed with the salt in an airtight container. Mixture will keep several months if stored in a cook, dry, dark place.
 
Peel cucumber. Cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. Cut into 2-inch lengths, then into julienne strips.
 
Remove cores from tomatoes, and cut tomatoes into julienne strips.
 
In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, and onion. Spoon onto individual salad plates. Squizzle each portion with some olive oil, followed by a squeeze of lemon juice. Sprinkle with cumin salt.
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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2012 at 09:55
Nice salad. It is very common to use Lemon instead of vinegar in the Middle East and Northern Africa on salads. Lemon is one of the major crops in Morocco.  
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2012 at 16:54
Sounds easy and good. You had me scared with the 3 tablespoons of salt for a minute.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2012 at 20:11
I should have been clearer, Rod.
 
The amounts given are to create enough for regular usage (or to make a very large salad Wink). We always keep some of that cumin salt on hand, because we use it for other things as well.
 
For an individual salad, or even for a family meal, it's probably just as easy to merely sprinkle each serving with some salt and cumin seed to taste.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2012 at 10:01
brook - this looks exactly like the kind of salad we really like. i am not much of a fan of lettuce fan, but love non-lettuce salads. this one will be made sometime soon ~ with pix!
 
i know for sure that i have ground cumin available, and i do believe i have also seen cumin seed, so this shouldn't be a problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2012 at 18:52
Ron, let me make a suggestion. As you renew your spices, stay away from preground. There are all sorts of reasons why they aren't the best choice; not the least of which is that they lose their characteristics rather quickly. At best, they should be replaced annually.
 
If you buy whole spices whenever possible, and grind them as needed, they last two days longer than forever, with full potency.
 
Don't take my word for it. Pick up some fennel seed (it's relatively widely available. most supermarkets stock it as part of their spice shelf). Grind some of it, even without toasting. Smell it. Then open the jar you have of preground, and smell it.
 
I rest my case.
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