Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds

A salad of cucumbers, grapes, toasted almonds and a little garlic—essentially a deconstructed white gazpacho.
Ingredients

Main Course
  • 1/4 cup slivered and blanched almonds
  • 1 pound cucumbers, peeled if the peel is bitter, unpeeled if not
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • About 20 green grapes, sliced in half
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sherry or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced chives, for garnish

Cucumber, Jicama, Ginger Salad:
  • 3/4 cup of seeded, diced, thin-skinned (English or Persian) cucumber, peel-on (you can also use regular cucumbers that have been peeled)
  • 2/3 cup peeled, small diced jicama
  • 1/4 thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 6 large leaves of butter lettuce
Directions
  • Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the middle, discard the seeds. If using rather large cucumbers, slice them again lengthwise.  Then cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch to 1/2 inch slices.  Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt.  Toss to distribute the salt evenly around the cucumber pieces.  Let sit for 20 to 25 minutes while the salt helps pull excess moisture out of the cucumbers. Then rinse off the salt, drain the cucumbers, and squeeze out more excess moisture with paper towels.
  •  Toast the slivered almonds in a small pan over medium-high heat, tossing them often, until they start to brown and smell good. Move to a bowl to cool.
  • Mix the cucumbers, almonds, garlic, grapes, olive oil, and vinegar together in a large bowl and add more salt to taste. Garnish with chives and serve.

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