About This Recipe
Armenian cucumbers are wondrous fruit. They look like cucumbers, and they taste a lot like cucumbers, but they’re part of the muskmelon family along with honeydew and cantaloupe. Cultivated in Armenia beginning in the 15th century, they’re long and curled, often pale green or pale with dark ribs, with a fuzzy peel (like peaches). A traditional Armenian salad mixes them with onions, herbs, and a simple vinaigrette. They’re also delicious with their cousin melons, and a little goat cheese or feta if you’re inclined.
Armenian cucumbers are high in heart-healthy potassium and the antioxidants vitamins A and C (which have been shown to help fight disease and slow aging). Vitamin K can play a role in maintaining bone health. Eat the cucumber’s skin — it’s a good source of fiber.
- 1 (400 g) Armenian cucumber, peeled and deseeded
- 1/2 small round melon such as cantaloupe or honeydew, deseeded
- 1/8 to 1/4 red onion, to taste, slivered
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
- 2 oz (60 g) feta, diced or crumbled (optional)
- 1½ tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Step 1Cut the cucumber into a large dice (about ½- to 3/4-inch). Put the diced cucumber in a large bowl. Remove the rind of the melon and cut into a large dice; add the melon to the bowl. Add the slivered onions and toss. Set aside.
Step 2Whisk together the red wine vinegar, honey, a pinch of salt, and two or three grinds of black pepper until the salt is dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste (if using feta, keep in mind that it’s salty).
Step 3Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add the feta, if using, and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle the thyme over the salad and serve immediately.
Substitutions: Use Persian or Japanese cucumbers
Level Up: Find heirloom varieties of melons
Try It With: Serve with grilled vegetables, green salads, other vegetable salads
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