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Off The Menu - Chef Frayne’s Grilled Summer Cucumber Salad

In this installment from Culinaire Magazine, they share a popular summer dish for a most refreshing salad alternative

 

We have a new favourite summer starter!

At the end of May we ran a fantastic,

super safe, wine pairing dinner at Delta Calgary South, where everyone dined at their tables set on their balconies overlooking a central atrium, so we could chat about the wines and dishes.


We started with a cucumber salad as a welcome amuse bouche, and paired it with a sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne (sparkling wine made in the traditional method, from Burgundy).


It was a stunning start to the evening, and we received many requests to know how it was made, so we’re very grateful for Executive Chef Michael Frayne for sharing this fresh and bright recipe!

Chef Frayne’s Grilled Summer Cucumber Salad

Serves 2 as a larger appetizer, or 4 small plates


Ingredients:

1 large English cucumber (365 g approx), cut into 3 equal pieces

1 tsp kosher salt ¼ cup (60 mL) white vinegar 1 Tbs fresh dill, chopped (3 branches, picked) plus extra for garnish 1 tsp whole caraway seed 2 Tbs Maldon salt, or other flaky finishing salt 1 Tbs fresh chives, sliced 140 g *Skyr (Icelandic yogurt)

Directions:

  1. Preheat barbecue to high heat.

  2. Take one of the pieces of cucumber, and using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, thinly cut into slices about 3 mm thick.

  3. Sprinkle with kosher salt, add the white vinegar, the fresh chopped dill and mix well, and let stand, either 20 minutes at room temperature or up to two days in the refrigerator.

  4. Toast the caraway seed, and when fragrant, grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, and add to the flaky salt, covering immediately to infuse it.

  5. Slice another 1/3chunk of cucumber lengthwise into 4 long equal slices (it will be about 6 mm thick) and grill until lightly charred on the edges and the cucumber has started to soften, slice across the cucumber to give nice diamond shapes.

  6. Thinly slice the remaining piece of cucumber lengthwise on a mandolin or with a knife as thin as possible.

  7. Drain the pickled cucumbers, and then combine in a bowl with the grilled and fresh cucumbers, the chives, and a small pinch of caraway salt, and mix to combine.

  8. Spread some of the skyr onto the plate in a circle, add your mixed cucumbers, top with more skyr, a healthy pinch of the caraway salt, and garnish with several sprigs of fresh dill.


* Skyr is a high protein, low-fat dairy product made the same way as yogurt, from skimmed milk. It’s thick and creamy, as it’s strained to give a more solid texture. Widely available at grocery stores.

 

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