Every week, our test kitchen team pays an early morning visit to New York City’s biggest farmers market: the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan. Comprised of over 70 stalls bursting with flowers, local products, and beautiful seasonal produce, it’s the perfect place for a hit of mid-week inspiration. Follow us on Instagram to tag along (bring a tote bag, it’s impossible to leave empty handed!) and see what we decide to make with our market haul.
Cucumbers don’t get a lot of love, but they’re secretly a summer produce MVP. Crisp and cooling, they require little more than slicing before they’re ready to enjoy, making them a great picnic or beach snack, crudite platter addition, or pairing for dips. When you do feel like dressing them up, however, cucumbers also take well to all manner of flavor combinations, and feature in many global cuisines.
This salad eats like a deconstructed raita, the Indian cucumber and yogurt condiment that’s a favorite dip for naan or cooling topper for curries. We use (garlic-spiked) yogurt as a creamy swoosh on the bottom of the plate, then pile on the spice-and-nut coated cukes. A flurry of herbs and flaky salt add the ideal fresh and crunchy finish.
Indian Smashed Cucumber Salad
10 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
¼ cup roasted cashews, finely chopped
⅛ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup full-fat yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely grated
A few sprigs cilantro, leaves and tender stems roughly chopped
A few sprigs mint, leaves roughly chopped or torn
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
Flaky sea salt
1. Smash & drain the cucumbers:
Working one piece at a time, place the cucumber pieces on a cutting board. Using the flat side of your knife, smash to flatten each piece. Transfer the smashed cucumbers to a strainer set over a large bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Set aside to drain at least 10 minutes.
2. Make the coating:
While the cucumbers drain, in a medium pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant and the mustard seeds begin to pop in the pan. Turn off the heat. Stir in the chopped cashews and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Season the yogurt:
In a bowl, combine the yogurt and garlic paste; season with salt and pepper.
4. Dress the cucumbers & serve your dish:
Discard any liquid drained from the smashed cucumbers; place the cucumbers in the bowl. Add the coating and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Swoosh the seasoned yogurt into an even layer on a serving platter. Top with the dressed cucumbers. Garnish with the cilantro, mint, and flaky salt. Enjoy!