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Summertime Cucumber Shrimp Salad

2012 June 19

There’s no big backstory to this one, just a simple summer dinner for two that doesn’t involve the oven.

Summer is coming on with a vengeance in DC — the humidity has arrived and temperatures are supposed to hit 100 by Thursday —  after a beautifully mild start to June that mostly made me long for vegetables that weren’t quite ready yet. But cucumbers are showing up in the farmers markets, or maybe even your backyard if you planted earlier than we did (we don’t even have so much as a flower yet!).

Okay, okay, I said there was no big backstory, and I meant it, but I do remember how this dish came to be… It was summer in Atlanta (where it might get hot, but it’s never as humid as the Capitol Swamp). I was supposed to bring a dish to some screen-on-the-green kind of thing, but got out of work way too late to make whatever elaborate thing I had planned to take to impress new friends and roommates, so I had to throw something together at the last minute with whatever we had. The original version ended up a little watery, as I hadn’t yet learned about purging the cucumbers, and most certainly involved bagged precooked frozen shrimp and herb and ginger pastes out of tubes.

Sure, I mince my own garlic and cilantro now, and grate my ginger pro-style with what amounts to an overpriced woodworking tool, but don’t knock the frozen shrimp in a bag at the grocery store, especially when they’re on sale. With their help, you can throw this dinner salad together and be off to picnics in parks or Screens on the Greens in no time flat — without turning on anything that generates heat. And friends and roommate are still sure to be impressed.

Summertime Cucumber Shrimp Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 medium cucumbers

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons grated ginger

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped

3 scallions, chopped

12 ounces cooked, peeled and deveined medium-sized shrimp

Method

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, ginger, zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a smaller bowl, toss shrimp with 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice mixture and set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Peel cucumbers and, still using the vegetable peeler, cut into long ribbons, stopping when you get to seeds in the middle.

Toss the cucumber ribbons with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a colander, let drain for 15 minutes.

Add cucumber, cilantro and scallions to large bowl with lemon juice mixture, stirring to mix and coat thoroughly. Serve shrimp over cucumber salad.

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