With the Paleo diet gaining even more momentum moving into the new year, there is a constant search for new and interesting side dishes that are not heavily processed to accompany the main dishes at the table. This recipe looks and tastes exciting and is a refreshing accompaniment to grilled meats and fish.
It lightens up the palate and brightens up the plate all at the same time. The flavor profile is so complex and makes the dish much more interesting than the sum of its parts. If your main dish is already high on the heat scale, you can cut back or omit the Scotch Bonnet peppers from the recipe.
You may add scotch bonnet salt instead of fresh scotch bonnet peppers to further step up the flavor (Recipe follows). If you do, then just omit adding salt to the dish otherwise.
JAMAICAN KUKUMBER (CUCUMBER) SALAD
- 2 large Cucumbers
- 2 tablespoons Lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Mustard oil
- 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Scotch Bonnet pepper, fine chopped
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- ½ teaspoon fresh Ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon Sesame seeds
- Kosher Salt
Trim and discard ends of cucumbers. If you are lucky enough to find English cucumbers at the market and you own a mandolin, you can now slice the cucumbers into almost paper-thin sheets. Otherwise, with regular cucumbers, just cut each cucumber in half lengthwise and then into thin slices into a bowl and set aside. The heavy seed bed in a regular cucumber makes it more difficult to successfully slice on a mandolin without wasting a lot of product.
Thoroughly whisk lime juice, mustard oil, sesame oil, sugar and ginger paste in small bowl and pour over cucumbers. Add scotch bonnet peppers. Stir to incorporate. Season with salt and garnish with sesame seeds just before serving.
Scotch Bonnet Salt
20 Whole Fresh Scotch Bonnet Peppers roughly chopped
1/2 Cup coarse Kosher Salt (or Sea Salt)
1 Large Mortar & Pestle (or food processor)
Put both ingredients in mortar and pestle and pound until it is the texture of a chunky paste.
Work in batches if your mortar and pestle is not big enough to hold everything at once.
Nigel Spence, a Culinary Institute of America alumnus, was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Nigel freelanced at the Television Food Network for 3 years where he worked with culinary luminaries such as Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse. Chef Spence has appeared twice on Throwdown with Bobby Flay where he emerged the victor in cook offs against the Food Network star and was featured on CBS when he appeared on Tony’s Table as well as ABC’s Neighborhood Eats, NBC’s The Today Show , Sirius’ Everyday Living with Martha Stewart and TVFN’s Chopped. The acclaimed and New York Times-reviewed Ripe Kitchen and Bar is Mr Spence’s first entrepreneurial endeavor.