Spontaneous Cuisine: A Swiss Recipe
When the days are hot and sultry, few things can be as refreshing as a cold cucumber salad, especially this classic cucumber and tarragon salad. In Switzerland, we make it with sour cream and tarragon, while in France they cook the cucumbers slightly and then add crème fraîche and chives.
This salad goes perfectly with a grilled chicken breast or any white fish. It also goes perfectly with smoked or natural salmon, in which case you might want to replace the tarragon with fresh dill or dill seeds.
200 g sour cream or plain yogurt
6 branches of fresh tarragon, chopped finely
2 tsp. coarse mustard, type “Moutarde de Meaux”
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- Wash cucumbers.
- Slice into thin slices (I don’t peel them in order to maintain the fiber).
- Spread slices out on a cutting board or work surface and salt on both sides to remove water. Leave for 1 or 2 hours.
- To make the sauce, beat mustard, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar with a wire whip until it becomes creamy.
- Add sour cream or yogurt and beat until thoroughly blended.
- If there is water standing on cucumbers, wipe them dry with a paper towel.
- Put dried cucumbers into sauce and fold until cucumbers are entirely covered with sauce.
- Fold in tarragon.
- Leave to rest in refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Serve cool.
Suggestions: You can vary the seasoning according to taste: fresh chives, paprika, mustard seeds. Use your taste buds to decide!
Jonell Galloway grew up on Wendell Berry and food straight from a backyard Kentucky garden. She is a freelance writer. She attended Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris and the Académie du Vin, worked for theGaultMillau restaurant guide and CityGuides in France and Paris and for Gannett Company in the U.S., and collaborated on Le tour du monde en 80 pains / Around the World with 80 Breads with Jean-Philippe de Tonnac in France; André Raboud, Sculptures 2002-2009 in Switzerland; Ma Cuisine Méditerranéenne with Christophe Certain in France, At the Table: Food and Family around the World with Ken Albala, and a biography of French chef Pierre Gagnaire. She ran a cooking school in France, and owned a farm-to-table restaurant, The Three Sisters’ Café, with her two sisters in the U.S. She organizes the Taste Unlocked bespoke food and wine tasting awareness workshops with James Flewellen, is an active member of Slow Food, and runs the food writing website The Rambling Epicure. Her work has been published in numerous international publications and she has been interviewed on international public radio in France, Switzerland, and the U.S. She has just signed on at In Search of Taste, a British print publication, and is now working on two books, What to Eat in France and What to Eat in Venice.
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