Chicken and Herb Salad With Nuoc Cham

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bird’s-eye chile or other small hot chile, minced with seeds
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 loosely packed cups chicken meat (12 ounces, pulled from store-bought rotisserie chicken or roast chicken)
2 cups thinly sliced red or green cabbage
1 small English cucumber, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium bell pepper (any color), thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups peppery leafy greens, such as watercress with tender stems, arugula or mizuna
1 loosely packed cup Thai or sweet basil leaves
1 loosely packed cup mint leaves
1/2 cup crispy fried shallots or onions, store-bought or homemade
Lightly crushed peanuts for serving

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Whisk to dissolve the sugar. Add the garlic, chile, lime juice and fish sauce. Stir to combine.

Add the chicken, cabbage, cucumbers and bell pepper to the dressing. Toss to coat. Add the leafy greens and the basil and mint leaves. Toss to combine.

Divide the salad among bowls, garnish with the crispy shallots and serve immediately.

Cucumber-Tomato Salad with Seared Halloumi

FOR THE CROUTONS:
1 pound slightly stale sourdough or country bread, thickly sliced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

FOR THE SALAD:
4 to 5 cups cucumber chunks, preferably thin-skinned, such as Kirby or Persian
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved, or ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
8 to 12 ounces halloumi or bread cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion or scallions, plus more to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint or basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed

Make the croutons: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each slice of bread into 1-inch-wide strips. Tear each strip into 1-inch pieces, removing the crust as you go if it is very thick. Transfer to a large baking sheet (or use 2 sheets, if necessary to prevent crowding). Drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated.

Bake until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet and turning the croutons halfway through so they brown evenly, and checking them every few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a light sprinkling of salt, if needed. Let cool on the baking sheet.

Make the salad: In a colander in the sink, toss the cucumbers with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place a bag of ice cubes or an ice pack on top to chill and firm the cucumbers. Let drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Slice the halloumi about 1/4-inch thick, then cut into bite-size strips. Smash and peel the garlic cloves and combine with 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl to steep.

Pour off excess liquid from the bowl holding the tomatoes. Add drained cucumbers, red onion or scallions, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons vinegar to tomatoes and toss well. Remove and discard the garlic cloves from the extra-virgin olive oil, add the oil to tomatoes and mix well. (If desired, the salad can be made up until this point and refrigerated for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain off excess liquid in the bottom of the bowl before proceeding.)

When ready to serve, add about half the croutons to the salad and toss so they can absorb the liquid. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar.
Cook the halloumi: Line a plate with paper towels and lightly coat a nonstick skillet with extra-virgin olive oil. Heat oil over medium-high until rippling. Working in batches, cook the halloumi strips on both sides until golden-brown and crusty, about 1 minute per side. Remove to the plate to drain.

Taste and add more croutons to salad as desired. (If there are too many, the salad will be starchy; too few, and it will be wet.) At the last minute, toss in the halloumi, add another good glug of extra-virgin olive oil, mix gently and serve immediately. (If desired, transfer to a clean bowl or platter for serving.)

Chinese Spicy Beef Salad

For the beef & marinade:
12 ounces flank steak (partially frozen; can also use chuck)
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the rest of the dish:
1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
1 Thai bird chili (minced)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons Sichuan chili flakes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/4 cup cilantro (leaves and stems, roughly chopped)

Very thinly slice flank steak against the grain (it should be partially frozen to make this easier), and add it to a medium bowl. Add the water, cornstarch, vegetable oil, Shaoxing wine, baking soda, and salt. Mix well, and marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the beef, and blanch for 45 seconds to 1 minute, just until it turns mostly opaque (it’s ok if it’s still a little pale pink in spots). Drain well and transfer the beef to a mixing bowl.

Add the garlic, chili, sugar, sesame seeds, and Sichuan chili flakes to the beef in little piles next to each other. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small pan, and pour over the garlic, chili, and sesame seeds.

Add the vinegar, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and cilantro. Toss and serve.

Tangy Pork Noodle Salad With Lime and Lots of Herbs

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon honey
Fine sea salt
4 tablespoons grapeseed or safflower oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot (1 large)
6 ounces pad Thai or other flat rice noodles
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or mashed to a paste
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated (about 2 teaspoons)
1 Thai or serrano chile, thinly sliced and seeded if you like
1 pound ground pork (or turkey)
1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup mung or other bean sprouts (or 1 cup lettuce)
1 packed cup mint leaves
1 packed cup cilantro or basil sprigs, or a combination
2 cups shredded romaine or other crisp lettuce
Red-pepper flakes, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together lime zest and juice, orange juice, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, honey and a small pinch of salt. Pour half of the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil and the shallots. Set both mixtures aside.

Cook noodles in salted water and according to package directions. Rinse under running water to remove any excess starch, then drain well and add to bowl with shallots, tossing well. Set aside while preparing remaining ingredients.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and chile, and cook until lightly golden and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add pork and stir, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook without stirring too often, until browned, about 8 minutes. Pour in lime juice mixture from the small bowl. Simmer gently until most of the liquid is evaporated, stirring to coat pork in the glaze, another 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Add pork, cucumbers, scallions, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts and herbs to the noodles and toss well to combine. Taste and add more fish sauce, lime juice or both. Just before serving, toss in lettuce, and serve sprinkled with red-pepper flakes with lime wedges on the side.

Tomato-Butter Pasta

Kosher salt
1 pound wavy or ridged pasta (like cavatappi or rigatoni), or a long noodle (like fettuccine)
2 pounds large, ripe tomatoes (about 2 to 3), halved horizontally
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
Black pepper
Torn basil leaves, for serving (optional)
Finely grated Parmesan, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, using the large holes of a box grater, grate the cut ends of the tomato into a large bowl. Discard or compost skins. Grate the butter into the bowl as well. Using the small holes of the box grater, grate the garlic into the bowl. Add the red-pepper flakes, and season generously with salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Return the drained pasta and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to the pot, along with the bowl of grated tomato and butter. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and glosses the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes (the sauce will thicken as it sits). Add more pasta water as needed to emulsify the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with more red-pepper flakes, black pepper, basil and Parmesan as desired.

Halloumi with Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
12 to 14 ounces halloumi cheese, diced into 1-inch cubes and patted dry
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed (from 2 to 3 ears of corn)
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 jalapeño, seeded or not, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more to taste
3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, more as garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges
Black pepper

In a large, preferably nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high until it thins out, about 20 seconds. Working in batches, add cheese in one layer, and cook until golden on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip cheese and cook without moving until golden on the other side, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining cheese.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat it over medium-high. Add corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, cumin seeds and salt, and cook until corn and tomatoes have softened and everything looks juicy, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove pan from the heat and stir in the browned cheese, sliced onion and basil. Squeeze a lime wedge or two over everything and season with more salt and lots of black pepper. Garnish with more basil and serve immediately.

Basic Kachumber Salad

1 small onion finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped small
1 large cucumber chopped small
4-5 red radishes chopped small (optional)
1 green chili finely chopped
1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp or more salt
1/4 tsp or more freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp or more cayenne pure red chili powder
1 tsp or more freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

Chop the onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, wash and drain well.

Add the veggies and the rest of the ingredients to a bowl. Taste and adjust salt and heat. Serve.

Notes:

To reduce the strong sharp onion flavor, soak the chopped onion in water for 15 minutes. Drain and then use.

To reduce spiciness, seed peppers

Variations:

Add 2 tbsp of chopped mint.

Add a generous pinch of kala namak (Indian Sulfur black salt) or 1/4 tsp or more chaat masala to taste.

Add vinegar to taste instead of lemon juice.

Add 1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin or coriander powder.

Add 1/2 cup or more yogurt and 1/2 tsp ground cumin and mix in to make raita kind of yogurt dip.

Kakdi Koshimbir (Indian Cucumber Salad)

4 small Persian cucumbers
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds lightly crushed in the palm of your hand
1/8 teaspoon asafetida
1 small green chili sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons peanuts roasted and ground
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped finely for garnish

Peel the cucumbers, finely dice and keep in a medium bowl.
Heat ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Lightly crush cumin seeds in the palm of your hands and add to the hot ghee. Allow the cumin seeds to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add hing and green chili and cook for another 30 seconds.

Pour the tempering on the chopped cucumbers. Add salt, sugar, peanuts, and cilantro. Mix well and serve immediately.

If making ahead of time, hold on the salt and sugar and add them just before serving. This helps the cucumber not release too much water. Leftover koshimbir can be refrigerated for a day.

Notes:
To make it vegan simply use any neutral oil instead of ghee.

You can skip the peeling cucumbers or peel them partially.

Powdered hing often contains wheat flour, but gluten-free versions are also available.

Add salt and sugar just before serving so the cucumbers do not release too much water.

Pick out the chili before eating unless you like super spicy food 🙂

Cabbage Salad with Indian Tadka

2 cups green cabbage thinly sliced and chopped
1/2 cup red pepper thinly sliced
1/2 cup green pepper thinly sliced
1/2 cup carrots julienned
1/2 cup red onion thinly sliced
? ½ cup purple cabbage. thinly sliced and chopped optional
? 1½ tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lemon cut into half & juiced

Mix all the veggies in a medium bowl.

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Turn the heat off once the mustard seeds start to pop. Add asafetida, turmeric & red chili powder.

Pour this tempering over the veggies. Add salt and lemon juice. Mix well and enjoy.

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad

2 Persian cucumbers
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic finely minced

Dressing:
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp chili oil optional
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional

Wash the cucumber and then pat dry. Cut the cucumber into about 1/2-inch thick slices. Try to cut as evenly as possible so every piece is roughly about the same size.

Add salt and let it marinate for 1 hour. The salt will draw out water from the cucumber, which will make the cucumber crisp.

Rinse off excess salt with clean water. Pat the cucumber really dry.

Mix all dressing ingredients for seasonings and stir to combine.

Pour the seasonings over the cucumber. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour if possible. This cucumber salad tastes even better when it’s chilled.

Herbed Tomato Salad With Tamarind-Maple Dressing

FOR THE SALAD:
2 pounds mixed tomatoes, such as cherry, heirloom, Sungold or beefsteak
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai
12 perilla, shiso or mint leaves, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely sliced

FOR THE FRIED SHALLOTS:
3/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
4 shallots, sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
Sea salt

FOR THE DRESSING:
4 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt

Start the salad: Cut the tomatoes into different shapes — this creates different textures and visual interest — and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt, and set in the sink to drain as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place a strainer over a heatproof bowl. Line a baking sheet or large plate with paper towels.

Prepare the fried shallots: Add the oil and shallots to a medium saucepan, and place over low heat. Bring the oil to a simmer, stirring the shallots with a fork to separate the rings. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the shallots are light golden brown, watching them closely, as they will brown quickly toward the end of their cooking. (Don’t let the shallots brown too much, as they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oil.)

Remove the shallots to the strainer to drain, then transfer them to the paper towels. Season with salt and allow to cool. Reserve the oil. Shallots can be fried 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Prepare the dressing: Whisk together all the ingredients.

Assemble the salad: Combine the tomatoes, two-thirds of the herbs and scallions, and half the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. To finish, top with the remaining dressing, a drizzle of the shallot cooking oil and the rest of the herbs and scallions, then finally with the fried shallots. (Reserve remaining shallot oil for other uses, like vinaigrettes, stir-fries and soups.)

Corn Salad with Halloumi

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Black pepper

FOR THE SALAD:
3 ears of corn, husks removed
2 (8-ounce) blocks halloumi cheese, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large just-ripe mango, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 Persian or mini cucumbers (about 1/2 pound), unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, finely sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 ounces pita chips, crumbled

To make the vinaigrette, place the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin and smoked paprika in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Taste, and season with pepper and also more salt if needed.

To prepare the salad, place the ears of corn on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, massaging to coat.

Heat a medium (10-inch) skillet over medium-high. When hot, add the corn and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, so they char. (The ears don’t need to be completely blackened, just parts of them.) Set aside. When cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut the corn from the ears and add to the bowl with the vinaigrette. When the pan has cooled, wipe it out.

Pat the halloumi cheese with a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Heat the same pan you used for the corn over medium-high. When hot, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the halloumi pieces and cook for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, turning frequently, until they are golden on all sides. Transfer to the bowl with the corn.

To the bowl, add the mango, cucumbers, mint, cilantro and scallions and toss to combine. Taste and add salt and black pepper to your liking. When you are ready to serve, top with pita chips and toss gently.

Tomato Salad With Cucumber and Ginger

3 Persian cucumbers
Kosher salt
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime zest plus 3 tablespoons juice (from 2 limes)
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon coconut oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon very thinly sliced green serrano chile (about 1/2 large chile)
1 garlic clove, finely grated
12 ounces multicolored cherry tomatoes and small tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/2 cup small sprigs cilantro
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Create stripes on the exterior of the cucumbers by running the tines of a fork along the length of the skin. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to a colander and toss with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, fish sauce, coconut oil, chile, garlic and the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.

Just before serving, add the tomatoes, basil, cilantro, red onion, ginger, cucumbers and half the nuts to the dressing; toss to coat. Transfer to a bowl or platter, top with remaining nuts and serve immediately.

Raita with Sweet Corn

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
2 tablespoons minced green or red chilies
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup cooked fresh corn (about 2 ears)
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seed, dry roasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

Heat oil in small skillet. Add cumin seed and fry until brown.

Combine with all remaining ingredients in serving bowl and stir well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Indian Ginger and Tomato Salad (Adrak aur Tomate Salat)

3-inch piece of ginger cut in paper thin slices (about 1/3 cup)
1 medium banana chile, seeded and cut in paper thin slices (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds medium ripe tomatoes (about 4)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint

Place ginger, chilies, lime juice, and half the salt in a small, non-reactive bowl. Let stand 20 minutes, tossing once or twice.

Slice the tomatoes onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with mint, salt, and pepper, then arrange ginger and chilies over them.

Serve slightly chilled with kebabs or other grilled meats, or just with some fresh naan.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

12 ounces elbow macaroni
3 medium russet potatoes (peeled and cut into large chunks)
2 cups mayonnaise (or to taste)
1/3 cup milk
1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar (to taste)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 carrot (grated, about 1 cup)
1 small onion (grated)
Salt to taste

Boil the macaroni and the potatoes in two separate pots simultaneously. Cook the macaroni until it’s fully softened—not necessarily al dente. Cook the potatoes until fork tender. In a separate bowl, mash the potatoes into a coarse mash. It should be about half chunky and half smooth.

Next, mix the dressing: add the mayonnaise, milk, cider vinegar, and sugar.
In a large bowl, mix the boiled macaroni with the peas, carrots, and grated onion. Pour the dressing in. Mix thoroughly. Now add the mashed potatoes. Add salt to taste.

Mustard and Dill Potato Salad

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
1?2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons brine from a jar of cornichons, gherkins or other small pickles, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar, plus more as needed 1 heaping teaspoon mustard, such as Dijon
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE SALAD
1 1?2 pounds skin-on Yukon Gold or other yellow-fleshed potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-size pieces (see headnote)
Kosher salt
8 cornichons, gherkins or other small pickles, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1?2 cup minced fresh dill Freshly ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette: Combine the oil, pickle brine, vinegar, mustard and 1 tablespoon of the honey in a blender, mini food processor or in a lidded jar you can shake. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Blend or seal and shake to form a creamy, emulsified vinaigrette. This should take a minute or less. Taste and add more brine, vinegar or honey, a teaspoon or two at a time, as needed. The yield is 3/4 cup.

For the salad: Put the potatoes in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, add a large pinch of salt and then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, so the water bubbles gently. Cook for about 15 minutes, until tender but still somewhat firm. Drain, rinse under cool water for a minute, then drain again.

Toss the still-warm potatoes with the chopped cornichons and dill in a large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette; let the salad sit for a few minutes, then taste. Add more of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper, until you are happy with the flavor.

Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (to chill thoroughly) and up to 2 days.

Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce (Suan Ni Pai Huan Gua)

1 cucumber (about 11 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons light soy sauce (not same as reduced-sodium soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon Chinkiang vinegar
2 tablespoons chile oil
1 to 2 pinches ground roasted Sichuan pepper (optional)

Lay the cucumber on a chopping board and smack it hard a few times with the flat blade of a Chinese cleaver or with a rolling pin. Then cut it, lengthways, into four pieces. Hold your knife at an angle to the chopping board and cut the cucumber on the diagonal into 1/8- to 3/8-inch slices.

Place in a bowl with the salt, mix well and set aside for about 10 minutes.

Combine all the other ingredients (garlic, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, chile oil and Sichuan pepper, if using) in a small bowl.

Drain the cucumber, pour the sauce over them, stir well and serve.

French Potato Salad

2 pounds fresh potatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick (little, thin-skinned potatoes work best here)
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 large garlic cloves
Dijon Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Fresh Herbs:

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, roughly chopped (or sub 1/4 cup dill or basil ribbons)
2 tablespoons fresh chives (or sub green onions), minced

Boil the Potatoes: Place the sliced potatoes in a large saucepan cover completely with cold water. Sprinkle in salt and bring to a boil. Add the 2 cloves of garlic, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.

Make the Vinaigrette: While potatoes are simmering, make the vinaigrette by whisking together dijon, oil, vinegar and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Assemble: Drain potatoes and garlic. Place potatoes mostly single layer on a baking sheet to cool. Mince the cooked garlic and add to the vinaigrette. Drizzle the vinaigrette evenly over the warm potatoes. Let sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.

Serve: Add to a serving bowl gently tossing with the chopped fresh herbs. Serve at room temp or refrigerate and chill.

Asian Cucumber Salad (with Variations)

1 1/2 pounds Turkish, Persian or English cucumbers (about 5 cups sliced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4–5 scallions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey, or sugar)
1 teaspoon red chili paste (or sriracha, both optional) more to taste
1–2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Using the tines of a fork, score the cucumbers lengthwise- this will help the dressing cling to the cucumber. (Feel free to skip if in a hurry.)

Slice the cucumbers thinly. Place in a bowl and toss with the salt to help them release water. Let this stand while you gather the remaining ingredients.

Strain the cucumbers, place them in a large bowl and add the scallions, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, optional red chili paste and toasted sesame seeds. Mix to combine.

Taste and adjust salt to your liking. Add more chili paste if you like.
Refigerate until ready to serve. This is best served the same day but will keep up to 3 days.

Optional Additions: to go with a more Thai theme you could add fish sauce, lime juice, Thai Basil, and crushed peanuts. To give it more of a Korean twist and add Gochujang. Leave out the chili paste and garlic to give it more of a Japanese spin. You get the idea.