As this sort-of holiday weekend crawls to an end (a Thursday holiday is an awkwardly placed day off!), you might be finding yourself scrambling to catch up so you’re ready for work tomorrow. (Raises hand.) But you still need to eat, and it should be delicious! So here’s your salad for tonight: Tajin cucumber salad.
Cucumbers are tasting especially sweet and juicy right now, naturally since they’re in season, and I would be happy eating them simply with a splash of olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of sea salt every night. Last night, though, on a sort of Mexican- themed night (other parts of the theme included my favorite mineral water, Topo Chico, and platanos), I decided to take a little bit of absolutely no extra effort to change it up a bit with a sprinkle of Tajin. Do you know Tajin? This is the all-in-one seasoning used on mangoes, cucumbers, watermelon, jicama and more from the fruit vendors on the streets of Mexico (and the Mission District in San Francisco) and has been recently having a moment (i.e. article in the New York Times: “Tajin is a Lifestyle“). It’s a simple and short ingredient list– dried granulated chiles (a combination of chiles de árbol, guajillo and pasilla), dehydrated lime and salt. You could replicate it with spices you might already have in your pantry, but it’s this particular combination of chiles, for me, that makes Tajin Tajin. Plus it has just the right balance of chiles to lime to salt, so it’s truly a no-brainer. It’s also more flavorful than spicy– suitable for children! And if you really like it, I’ve seen it being sold in individual size mini-bottles you can carry with you.
The recipe is really a non-recipe, but I’ll write it as such in case you’d like instructions. The most important part for me, is the plating. Isn’t it pretty?
Tajin Cucumber Salad
Serves: 4 as a side dish
1 large cucumber (standard, not seedless, for best flavor and texture)
Tajin seasoning, to taste
a drizzle of olive oil
- Peel cucumber and slice into 1/4 inch thick discs.
- [This is the important part]: arrange cucumber slices attractively on a plate. To replicate the salad above, start on the outside of your plate, and as you go around the edge of the plate, overlap the edge of the each slice on top of the preceding slice, and continue by making a series of smaller circles clockwise, until you have filled the plate.
- Next, add Tajin to taste. To make sure you evenly scatter Tajin, work from about 6 inches above the plate and sprinkle lightly and evenly.
- Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
What are your favorite cucumber salads? Feel free to leave recipe ideas in the comments!
I’m excited for the two classes I’m teaching this week: Thrive Kitchen will be on the theme of “Spanish Summer: Gazpacho and Tapas” and I’ll also be teaching a culinary medicine class to 25 visiting medical students from around the country.