herbal fare

Cool as a cucumber salsa

Many years ago, Lucinda Hutson’s Cool Cucumber and Dilled Artichoke salsa was my first introduction to “salsa that isn’t your typical salsa.” It remains one of my favorite recipes both for its unique combination of flavors and for its cool and refreshing taste. I also find it highly adaptable. If I am leaning more toward Mediterranean, I will pretty much make the recipe as intended. If I am leaning more toward Tex-Mex, I will often omit the dill and artichoke and go heavier on the hot pepper. I always use salad burnet, as I find it pairs beautifully with the other flavors. Lucinda’s beautiful cookbook was one of the first herb gardening / cookbooks I bought 20+ years ago and one that I still pull out and reference often. The photographs of her garden are so inspirational and her plant knowledge is excellent. The recipes? Always amazing! And always filled with wonderful herb combinations!

Cool Cucumber and Dilled Artichoke Salsa

2 medium cucumbers

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 shallot, minced

2-3 serrano peppers, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

12-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint or salad burnet

2 teaspoons olive oil

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Chop cucumber halves and sprinkle with salt. Place chopped cucumber in a colander and allow to drain for 10 minutes to remove any bitterness and excess moisture. Mix cucumbers with the remaining ingredients. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Recipe from Herb Garden Cookbook: The complete gardening and gourmet guide By Lucinda Hutson, copyright 1998