Cucumbers, often reserved for cold salads, break out of the crisper-drawer doldrums in this very fast--and very elegant--side dish. Finely chopped shallots and subtle rice vinegar are poured over the butter-cooked cukes, creating an instant vinaigrette. Then fresh herbs sprinkled over the top give the dish a cheerful freshness. We love it paired with seared salmon or roast chicken, or mixed with flaked, smoked trout and piled on Bibb lettuce leaves.
Warm Cucumbers with Spring Herbs
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 5 minutes
1 small shallot, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced on a bias into ¼-inch rounds
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped, tender fresh herbs (any combination of basil, chervil, chives, dill, mint, parsley or tarragon)
½ teaspoon flaky salt
1. To a small bowl, add the shallot and rice vinegar. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the butter. Once it is melted, add the cucumbers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cucumbers turn pale green and are warmed through and tender, taking care to not let the cucumbers brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and season the cucumbers with the kosher salt.
3. Transfer the cucumbers to a medium bowl and pour the shallot-vinegar mixture over the top. Add the herbs, gently stir, then sprinkle the flaky salt over the top. Serve immediately (the longer the cucumbers sit, the softer they become).
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