I can’t get enough of this light, flavour-packed cucumber salad, and luckily I get plenty of it, because my kids think it’s vile. They just don’t understand my love affair with Scandinavian flavours such as dill, capers, lemon, salmon, boiled eggs and anchovies, possibly because their Norwegian DNA – courtesy of my Great-Grandma – has been diluted to the point that it makes up just one pitiful eighth of their gene profiles.
|Cucumber, Dill & Yoghurt Salad with Capers and Anchovies|
This low-carb salad is quick and easy to make, and gorgeous eaten on its own, or as an accompaniment to grilled salmon or tuna, or smoked salmon, or a platter of tenderly boiled eggs. You can leave out the bottled anchovies if their fishiness doesn’t appeal to you, but I encourage you to include them, because they add an intense, salty punch to the salad.
Fresh dill is an essential ingredient, because it’s that delicate aniseed taste that brings all the flavours together.
I use my easy home-made Greek-style yoghurt in this dish, but you can use any thick and luscious store-bought natural yoghurt in its place.
Cucumber, Dill & Yoghurt Salad with Capers and Anchovies
1 large English cucumber
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fine salt
1 cup (250 ml) thick Greek-style yoghurt
3 Tbsp (45 ml) finely chopped fresh dill
4 Tbsp (60 ml) capers, drained of brine
the juice of a small lemon
6 anchovy fillets, drained of any oil
a little olive oil, for sprinkling
Trim the ends of the cucumber and remove the skin, using a light touch and a sharp potato peeler. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, and use a teaspoon to scrape out the soft pulp and seeds. (Alternatively, and for a neater result, you can cut the peeled cucumber crossways into three sections, bore out the softy pulpy centre using an apple corer, and then cut each section in half lengthways.)
Neatly slice the peeled, de-seeded cucumber into fine crescents. I use a mandolin for this. Place the slices in a colander set over your sink and sprinkle over the salt. Toss well, using your hands, and set aside for 20-30 minutes. During this time, the salt will draw the excess liquid from the cucumber.
Rinse the cucumber slices under cold running water to remove excess salt and pat them dry on a few sheets of kitchen paper, or a clean towel.
Place in a bowl and stir in the yoghurt, dill, capers and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Tip the salad onto a platter – or individual bowls – and top with anchovy fillets. (You can chop these into small pieces, or drape them in pairs over the top of each serving, as shown in the picture above.)
Sprinkle with a little olive oil and serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a starter or side dish.