Recipe: The Acorn’s Poona Kheera Cucumber Salad with Shishito Pepper and Plum Relish

What is better than a fresh summer cucumber salad? We love this heirloom variety with its crisp, sweet, and hardy qualities. This salad gets an extra kick from the heat of the shishito peppers laced throughout the dish. Wash it down with your favourite summer beer.

Poona Kheera Cucumber Salad, Shishito Pepper & Plum Relish, Charred Shishito Pepper Vinaigrette, Cucumber Hazelnut Cream, Purslane (Serves 6)

Shishito Pepper & Plum Relish

3 amber plums, pitted
2 shishito peppers, seeded
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon plum vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)

1. Dice the plums and shishito peppers finely and uniformly into a brunoise
2. Even mix together with the salt, pepper, and vinegar
3. You can store this in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

Charred Shishito Pepper Vinaigrette

3 shishito peppers
1 shallot, peeled whole
1/8 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup grapeseed oil
Yield: 2.5 cups

1. Over an open flame char the shishito peppers and the shallot until you’ve produced a nice charred crust over the vegetables. Allow to cool.
2. Remove the stem and seeds from the peppers. Give the peppers and shallot a rough chop so they are easier to blend.
3. Add the peppers, shallots, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper to the blender and blend on high until smooth. Turn the blender to medium speed and slowly
drizzle in the grapeseed oil until it is completely emulsified.

Cucumber Hazelnut Cream

¾ cups hazelnuts
2 litres water
½ teaspoon probiotics
1 cup cucumber juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt

1. Soak hazelnuts in 2 litres of water and keep refrigerated for 8 hours
2. Strain and rinse the hazelnuts then add them to the blender
3. Blend the hazelnuts with the probiotics, cucumber juice and salt until you’ve reached a silky smooth consistency
4. Pour the mixture into a large mason jar. Cover with a towel or a piece of cheesecloth and secure with an elastic band or string
5. Keep the mixture at room temperature ( 72°F) for 48 – 72 hours
6. Remove the mixture from the jar and whisk in the maple syrup until it is well incorporated.
7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days

Poona Kheera Cucumber Salad Plating

2 Poona Kheera cucumbers washed and thinly sliced with the peels on
1/4 cup charred shishito pepper vinaigrette
1 cup shishito pepper & plum relish
¾ cup cucumber hazelnut cream
2 cups purslane, washed and dried

1. Add the sliced cucumber to a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.
2. Distribute the dressed cucumbers evenly along the bottom of your plates
3. Add dollops of the cucumber hazelnut cream to each plate
4. Spoon the Relish around the cucumbers
5. Garnish with purslane on top

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