Tangy Thai Cucumber Relish

For the last 5 years we've lived in condos and apartments, so when we moved into a house this past year I was excited to finally have a yard where we can have a garden again. We went to the farmers market early in the season to buy herbs and vegetables to plant. One of the vegetables I was excited to grow was zucchini, I grew it a few years back and was rewarded with more zucchini than I could handle.

As the plants began to grow my anticipation also grew. Finally one day I saw a baby zucchini growing. A few days later it was ready to pick! I brought it in the house put it in on the cutting board and...wait a minute, what the... this is a cucumber! So instead of six zucchini plants I have six cucumber plants, they must have been mislabeled at the farmer's market. Don't get me wrong, I like cucumbers, but just not as much as I like the versatile zucchini. An when is the last time you cooked a cucumber?

So now I have 6 cucumber vines producing an average of 6-10 cucumbers a week, I needed recipes! I was thinking about making gazpacho, which would be great, but how much gazpacho could one family eat before revolting? Thankfully my friend Robin came through with a great recipe for Tangy Thai Cucumber Relish. This sweet and sour tasting relish is a great compliment for most Thai dishes. I served it with red curry chicken, the cool sweetness provided a great contrast for the hot spiciness of the curry dish. This recipe also makes a great cool side dish for just about any summer meal.


Tangy Thai Cucumber Relish

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt
2-4 (depending on the size ) cucumbers -about 1 lb.
3 Tbsp. thinly sliced shallots
1 carrot, sliced into thin rounds
2 tsp. thinly sliced fresh hot red or green chilies, seeds removed
3 tsp chopped Thai basil

In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt, Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar and salt dissolve, 3-4 minutes
Remove from heat and let the dressing cool to room temperature.

Peel cucumbers (optional)and cut them lengthwise into 4 long strips. Slice each strip crosswise into small triangles; you should have about 3 cups
Place in a bowl, toss with chopped shallots, carrots and chilies and pour the cooled dressing over the mixture
Cover and refrigerate, serve cold, best after 24 hours


Ann Evanston said...

I think every culture has a version of this cucumber dish! Thanks for sharing a Tai version!


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hungry said...

Oh. Must make this week. I'm always on the lookout for good vegetable options.

Make Green Come True said...

Great recipe!

Chow and Chatter said...

this salad looks great :-) Rebecca

Me said...

When you mention Italian sausage, are you sure it's Gluten free? It worries me sometimes

Jeff S said...

I always check sure to make sure the Italian sausage I use is gluten free. There are a few store brands that are, like Johnsonville's, but I prefer to use fresh-made sausage from local meat shops and deli's.