This salad is the real deal, people.
I made it last night for dinner and I was blown away. The crunchy cucumbers, slightly sweet strawberries, citrus crème fraîche…don’t even get me started. It’s perfect for a hot (almost) summer night, or for when you find yourself with a pound of Persian cucumbers and strawberries in the fridge.
I used to not like cucumbers because I thought that they were boring. Kind of like celery, I thought they were a good base but I didn’t really see what they brought to the table.
Then I tried Persian cucumbers and all that changed. I would highly recommend looking for them at your local farmers’ market. They little, sweet and crunchy and they go well with cream. I’ve also eaten them with tzatziki, or Greek yogurt dip.
Even though Persian cucumbers take a starring role in this dish, the lemon crème fraîche is what brings everything together. The lemon flavor balances the sweetness of the strawberries and the smoky flavor of the cayenne pistachios. It also goes well with the cardamom mixed in the berries and cucumbers.
I listened to this song on the way to work this morning. It’s good for morning strolls when you want to drown out the sound of traffic.
Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Crème Fraîche (from Bon Appetit)
1 pound strawberries, hulled, quartered
3 Persian cucumbers, sliced
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
3 teaspoons sugar, divided
½ cup crème fraîche
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup unsalted, roasted pistachios
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Toss strawberries, cucumbers, cardamom, a pinch of salt, and 1 tsp. sugar in a medium bowl and let sit 10 minutes to allow sugar to dissolve and flavors to meld.
Meanwhile, mix crème fraîche, lemon juice, remaining 2 tsp. sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl; set lemon cream aside.
Pulse pistachios, cayenne, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until nuts are just finely ground (do not overprocess or you’ll end up with nut butter).
Divide fruit salad among plates and spoon reserved lemon cream over; sprinkle with ground seasoned pistachios.