Four people – not one, but four (!) – asked me this week for suggestions on what to do with their garden cucumbers. It’s an item that I would love to grow, but I don’t have enough space. They always get bumped for bell peppers. Anyway, this is a favorite salad of mine and a perfect use for those cucumbers. Although if you have an abundance of them, you might need to make it several times.
Now, for all you beet haters…before you grimace and say something aloud like “blech,” hear me out.
I, too, was once a beet hater. Actually, I think I just hated beets because they were never mentioned in a positive manner. I can’t even recall having tried one until years after college. And by then, I was so brainwashed into thinking beets were a death sentence, I wouldn’t even consider eating one…until one fine day at my girlfriend’s house.
She was having a party for, none other than me, and made this salad. Well, gosh darn heck, it looked so beautiful. And since the party was in my honor, I couldn’t very well disrespect my lovely hostess who had gone to so much trouble, right? I took a teensy-tiny bit on my plate, careful to keep it away from the other foods, so they wouldn’t be tainted.
While nobody was looking, I took a bite, fully prepared to spit it out.
But I didn’t spit it out. Instead, I went back for more. This salad is wonderful. Wonderful, I tell ya! And with the exception of Paul, everyone I have served it to has been pleasantly surprised, as well.
Try it. I dare you.
Beet and Cucumber Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes
• 1 jar marinated sliced beets
• 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
• 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
• 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste
Mix the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
On individual serving plates, place the beets and cucumber in a spiral pattern, alternating between the two. Drizzle the mustard mixture over the top, and sprinkle the gorgonzola cheese on top of that.