Sunday, 17 June 2007

Balsamic Strawberries & Lime-Minted Cucumbers with Cottage Cheese

This can be mainly made ahead, and assembled just before serving.

4 to 6 servings
1 ½ to 3 hours - 30 minutes prep time

Balsamic Strawberries & Lime-Minted Cucumbers with Cottage Cheese SaladCucumber:
1 large greenhouse English cucumber
1 tablespoon salt
the juice of 4 key limes
a pinch of key lime zest
1 tablespoon very finely minced fresh mint
1 tablespoon honey

Peel the cucumber and cut it into dice. Sprinkle it evenly with the salt and set aside. After 15 minutes or so, rinse well and drain thoroughtly.

Mix the lime juice, lime zest, honey and mint, and toss into the cucumber. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Strawberries:
1 quart strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Rinse the strawberries carefully, and drain well. Stem them and slice them. Toss in the sugar, pepper and vinegar. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. (The strawberries can be prepared up to 3 hours in advance, except don't add the vinegar until 30 minutes before serving.)

Final Assembly:
500 ml cottage cheese, or more as desired
6 to 12 leaves of lettuce

Wash and dry the lettuce and arrange on serving plates. Spoon a mound of cottage cheese into the middle, and arrange the strawberries and cucumbers around it. (Both the berries and the cucumbers are apt to be rather soupy - don't transfer too much of their marinating liquids to the serving plate.)

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