Cucumber Salad With Roasted Peanuts and Chile
Easy to assemble but far from basic, this cucumber salad delivers a riot of flavors and textures with snappy cucumbers, velvety peanut sauce, crunchy cilantro-peanut topping and zingy chile oil. The details make all the difference: First, salting the cucumbers mutes the fruit’s subtly bitter notes while heightening flavor. Next, the simple peanut sauce adds richness to the cool cucumbers. (Make a large batch and store it in the fridge to drizzle over vegetables, chicken and salads.) Finally, a flurry of finely chopped peanuts, cilantro and red-pepper flakes gets dusted over the salad in layers to disperse flavor.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 6Persian cucumbers (about 1 pound), cut lengthwise into thin spears, then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
- Kosher salt
- ¼cup salted, roasted peanuts
- ¼cup cilantro leaves
- 1teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 3tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
- 2tablespoons soy sauce
- 2tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1small garlic clove, grated
- Chile oil, store-bought or homemade, for serving (optional)
Step 1Toss cucumbers with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a colander. Set aside to drain.
Step 2Chop peanuts, cilantro and red-pepper flakes together until very fine. Set aside.
Step 3In a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Add up to 1 tablespoon water, if needed to thin mixture. Transfer salted cucumbers to the bowl with dressing and toss to coat.
Step 4To serve, place half the cucumber salad on the plate, sprinkle with half the peanut mixture. Repeat with the remaining cucumber salad and peanut mixture. Drizzle with chile oil, if using, and serve immediately.