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Crisp and Creamy — Cucumber and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

September 5, 2012

Cooking is at once one of the simplest and most gratifying of the arts, but to cook well one must love and respect food.– Craig Claiborne

Inspiration for this creamy salad came from a very ripe avocado and almost an empty vegetable drawer with just a few cucumbers.

A lot of us can relate to it when we don’t want to waste food. I am one of them.

It does put our creative minds to work. Sometimes situations like this produce better results than a planned recipe. I have been there. In this case, a  little help from the pantry and a couple herbs from the garden came in handy to prepare this very summery salad.

The result was pretty good. Perfect for a warm afternoon!

Produce markets are overflowing with these tiny Persian cucumbers. Beylik Family Farms in Southern California has been growing hydroponic cucumbers, and selling exclusively at farmers markets only. And they taste delicious!

Persian cucumbers are seedless, refreshing, and hydrating. Their thin skin needs no peeling, and the flavor is far superior than some thick waxy skinned large cucumbers.

Somehow these Persian cucumbers always find way in my produce bag. Why? I think it’s their abundance in season, and also the temptation to enjoy them while they are still available.

And I love snacking on them.

Simplicity of this recipe is the key to preparing this salad, and the flavors are very refreshing. Persian cucumbers are mixed with garbanzo beans and seasoned with freshly ground cumin. Dressing made with lime and garlic blended with the creamy avocado, makes it silky smooth. Parsley and mint add the herbal flair.

It’s an absolute summer delight!

Recipe

Dressing

1 small clove of garlic
15-20 mint leaves plus for garnish
1 small avocado, peeled
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt to taste
½ cup water or as required

In a food processor or blender, pulse garlic and mint a couple times. Add avocado, juice of lime, olive oil, and salt. Puree until smooth. Add water to get flowing consistency. Set aside.



Salad

5 Persian cucumbers, diced medium (2 cups)
1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon freshly ground cumin plus for garnish
Chili flakes to taste (optional)
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped plus for garnish

In a bowl, combine cucumber, garbanzo beans, cumin, and salt. Drizzle 3-4 tablespoons of dressing and mix gently. Adjust seasoning. Stir in parsley.

Serve garnished with a pinch of ground cumin, parsley and mint.

Note: If the salad needs to be chilled, add salt before serving otherwise it will draw water out from the cucumbers. Also if you like heat in your dressing, add half a serrano chili or jalapeno while pulsing garlic; or just mix in finely chopped with parsley.

How do you enjoy cucumbers? Would love to hear from you.

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