Terrific Pacific Cookbook, 420pp.
by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman
Workman Publishing, New York, 1995
Cooking on page 32
I bought this cookbook second-hand for $10 on one of our recent road trips.
We can’t drive through a small town—or any town for that matter—without pulling over to check out the second-hand bookshops.
I shouldn’t say we. Poor John has a Kindle now so the pull of the printed book isn’t as strong for him as the pull of the cookbook is for me.
Given that I already have so many cookbooks, it’s hard to find one that’s really tempting. I bought this on spec. Had never heard of it, even though it was published 17 years ago, but thought a lot of the recipes looked tasty. When we got home, I discovered that it has great reviews and is highly regarded.
So here’s the offering from page 32.
Cucumber and pineapple salad
1 cup diced, seeded, peeled firm cucumber
1 cup diced pineapple
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons hot water
1 hot red chile, fresh or dried, stemmed, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves
Combine the cucumber, pineapple and onion in a medium-size bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, hot water and chile until the sugar is dissolved. Toss the cucumber mixture with the dressing and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving. Stir in the cilantro.
Serves 8 as an accompaniment.
How it played out
I made this with castor sugar and a small red dried chile that I didn’t bother to seed. Wanted to keep an extra flash of colour so only partially peeled the cucumber. Served with roasted carrots and cannelloni.
So delicious, so tangy, so easy-to-make. I think I’ll try it again tomorrow. But don’t believe that it will serve 8 people. Three of us polished it off, but maybe we’re just greedy.
Update: I did make this again tonight. For a change, I added diced pieces from two very small avocados—sensational. I will make this often.