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I love this time of year here in Brooklyn. Summer vegetables abound, and fresh herbs and radishes are returning now that the heat has died down. This salad is ripe, fresh, bright, and just a little bit hot, just like the end of summertime.
3 Persian cucumbers, halved and sliced
1 large orange pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium red onion, finely diced
A handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
A handful of radishes, sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped dill
4 ounces of sheep's milk feta, finely diced
Fleur de sel
Combine the vegetables, feta, and herbs in a bowl along with a few big pinches of salt and the Chaat Masala. Give everything a good toss to mix.
Add the juice of 1 lemon and a healthy glug of olive oil (I usually use about 1/4 cup).
Toss well to mix again, then taste and adjust the seasonings and salt to your liking. I always add a generous quantity of Espelette pepper.
* You can also sub in parsley for cilantro for a more bitter variation. Try adding a bit of vinegar to balance.
Leftovers will keep for a few days but will exude quite a bit of liquid. My recommendation is to drain off the liquid and use it in something else like ceviche or a chilled soup, then refresh the salad with a bit of lemon juice.
• Fry some croutons and layer them at the bottom of the bowl. Plate the salad on top of the croutons and allow them to soak up some of the liquid before serving.
• This salad is a perfect complement to grilled meats, with the freshness cutting and balancing the richness.
• For a creamy salad you can stir in a bit of Turkish Ranch.
Food image and recipe © Christian Leue
Questions? Please email Christian@laboiteny.com