Makes about 2 ½ cups
A couple of hours before we eat, I salt the cuke slices and let them wilt. Just before we sit down I toss the slices in yogurt with mint from the garden. A spoonful is enough to sauce a portion of fish but I make it in big batches, because everyone heaps it on their plates as a dinner vegetable. Double the formula here to make a generous side dish serving six.
- 1-1/4 pounds of small pickling (kirby) cucumbers, each preferably 4 ounces or smaller
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or more to taste
- 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt, cold
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Rinse and dry the cucumbers but don’t peel them. Trim the ends and slice thinly crosswise, 1/8-inch or less. Put all the slices in a bowl and toss them well with the salt; turn the slices into a colander and set it over the bowl (or in the sink). Let the cukes wilt and release their juices for at least an hour, but 2 to 3 hours is better—then toss the slices gently once or twice so the liquid drains off.
Shortly before serving, pick up a handful of slices and press it between your palms. Don’t crush or break them but squeeze firmly to get out as much liquid as you can. Put all the squeezed slices in a bowl, separating them if they’re stuck together; plop the yogurt into the bowl and fold it into the cukes. Fold and toss in the mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and add more salt (or more yogurt or any of the other seasonings). Heap into a small bowl for serving.
Refrigerate any leftovers—the yogurt may get watery but the slices will still be tasty, it will last for 2-3 days.