The recent abundance and variety of cucumbers had me stumped. I wanted a simple recipe that was healthy and would go with fried fish, lechon kawali, a soupy curry or even a bowl of lentils with sausage. I decided to do a variation on my momâ€™s old cucumber salad recipe. Until age 10 or so, I think I avoided all vegetables with the exception of cucumber salad and atchara (picked papaya). Recently, I noticed another cook from the Visayas making a cucumber salad very similar to my momâ€™s and when I asked her what she called the dressing she said â€œVisayan Vinaigretteâ€ â€“ it cracked me up so much I have adopted the name for this totally simple recipe. Take some cucumbers and slice them up. If using only the ridged larger variety, de-seeding them will make them seem crisper. Peel if you like but I didn’t peel the smaller varieties. I also used the English variety and gherkins and they were nice and crisp.
Make a dressing that has apple cider vinegar, some sugar, salt, black pepper, chopped red chillies and some chopped dill and pour over the cucumbers and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving. The chillies and dill gave this dish some zing and flavor. The little cucumbers were really crisp. If I did it again, I wouldnâ€™t mix the larger ridged variety with the smaller cucumbers as the texture differential was not the best thing. However, I have really taken to the English cucumbers because they have thin skins, crisp flesh and a fresh flavor. This salad would go well with anything fried, a strong curry or a bowl of legumes. My momâ€™s old dressing recipe was even simpler: Del Monte vinegar, a little ketchup, some sugar, salt and pepperâ€¦