“February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer.” ~ Shirley Hardie Jackson, American writer (1916 – 1965)
Most of a cucumber was the last vegetable sitting in the refrigerator bin and beginning to look a bit rumpled. Lest it need to be thrown away (aaaagh!), it was time to use it immediately.
Fortunately, the pot of fresh mint growing in the sunny corner of the living room was also calling to me, wondering at its neglect, so that I was able to put the two thoughts together and remember some summer flavors. July.
Is it wrong to visit July in February?
The only thing wrong with this picture is that with the cucumber suffering from depression, the peel was unfit for consumption. That’s ok, though, because in cucumbers, the peel really doesn’t add significant nutrition, even though it is easier and prettier to leave it on.
Just before serving, we also happened to remember a cup of leftover quinoa, which we often use as a quick-cooking, high protein replacement for rice or oatmeal. Into the bowl it went along with the last bit of Poppyseed Dressing. It gave the dish enough substance to make it more like a lunch dish than a side dish.
Cucumber Mint Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as an entrée
Time: 5 minutes + optional time to cook and cool quinoa
½ cup chopped cucumber
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa (optional)
¼ cup Poppyseed Dressing (see below) or other sweet dressing
Toss ingredients together. Serve immediately.
1/4 cup sugar (Fair Trade, vegan, of course)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup salad oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
The weather service is predicting snow for Wednesday. That’s ok. Today, the sun is shining just the same as it does in July. Eat your veggies and dream.