Cucumber and pineapple salad

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.


About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
This entry was posted in Fruit, Salad, Vegetable, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Cucumber and pineapple salad

  1. Your loving daughter says:

    Delicious. Made it on a warm spring day and it was a hit. I substituted rice vinegar with white wine vinegar as I couldn’t find any rice vinegar. I also used tinned pineapple. Only thing is I’d probably put a bit less pineapple to cucumber as it can get quite acidic. But you can put as much chili on it as you like as it gives a nice kick. I’d give it a 7/10 but with the potential for a 9 by reducing the pineapple slightly.

  2. Debbwl says:

    Wanted to try this the minute I saw the post and am glad I did because it is as tasty as it looks and sounds. Glad we tried it was delicious, I did use only ½ a dried red chile (afraid would be too much for DH who does not do spicy or hot). DH said if I made the same he would be happy to eat again. The little that is left over is for my lunch and I am going to try adding some avocado as suggested in your update. Thanks for the post.

  3. Lori Loucas says:

    I loved this refreshing little salad! We did use a really hot llittle red chile for a nice kick. This was a perfect addition to a Filipino meal of Chicken Adobo and Garlic-fried rice. Thanks for posting! Made for CQ3 by a Pi Rho Maniac.

  4. Jean Ray says:

    Interesting. The cucumber was kind of overpowering. I used red pepper flakes instead of a chili; maybe I should have used more. Kids did not like it. 3/5. Sheepdoc

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