Melanie Johnson shares a simple and refreshing summer recipe that is perfect for al fresco evenings.
‘Cucumbers bring fresh and subtle flavour to summer dishes’ says our kitchen garden cook, Melanie Johnson.
Best suited to warm, sheltered spots, cucumbers in vegetable patches across the country will no doubt be thriving after this summer’s sunny weather. Coming in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes, this refreshing vegetable is a salad staple, but can often be overlooked if not seasoned or prepped correctly.
Pair them with dill, soured cream and a splash of apple cider vinegar, like the recipe below, to really elevate their flavours.
Recipe: Herb and lemon-marinated chicken and soured-cream cucumber salad
For the chicken
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- 4 chicken breasts
- 50ml olive oil
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2tbspn mixed dried herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and oregano
- 1tspn chilli flakes
For the cucumber salad
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 2tspn sea salt
- 125ml soured cream
- 1tspn caster sugar
- 1tbspn apple cider vinegar
- 2tbspn fresh dill, chopped
- Ground white pepper
- 2tbspn fresh dill
Tenderise the chicken breasts by covering them with clingfilm and bashing with a rolling pin on both sides. Add to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, chilli and some seasoning. Add to the chicken, mixing well to coat. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Remove the seeds from the cucumber with a teaspoon and slice thinly. Put the slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 30 minutes to drain.
Place the drained cucumber into a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soured cream, sugar, vinegar, dill and pepper. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers and scatter with fresh dill. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Add a splash of oil to a griddle pan and fry the chicken breasts until browned and cooked through.
Serve the chicken and cucumber salad with simple new potatoes on the side.