This has been a go-to salad for longer than we remember. Chinese in origin, it takes on nearly anything from the grill. Pair it with Smoky Salmon Steaks, Corn on the Cob with Chile-Lime Dip and, of course, Ginger Hoisin Summer Shrimp.
Cook to Cook: Cutting cucumbers the night before lets them give off the liquid that usually turns cucumber salads into soup. Once the cukes have given it up and you mix the salad, you can hold the dish a couple of hours.
1. The day before serving, spread the cucumbers on a towel (cotton or paper) and sprinkle them with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roll up the towel, seal it in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
2. When ready to make the salad, turn the cucumbers into a serving bowl. Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil and gently toss until well combined.
3. Serve the salad lightly chilled. It could be garnished with thinly sliced whole scallions.
From A Summertime Grilling Guide by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. Copyright© 2012 by American Public Media.
"It's sort of a funny thing for me to say as a restaurant chef, but my advice to my sons and to everyone is to cook at home at least most of the time," says chef Cal Peternell, author of Twelve Recipes.