ffwd: crunchy ginger-pickled cucumbers
Is it Friday? Is it Tuesday? Is it Sunday? With the midweek holiday, the flow of the week and the feel of each day have been confusing. I worked a normal week with Wednesday off for Independence Day. On Tuesday, it felt like Saturday. On Wednesday, I was sure it was Saturday, so it was odd to go back to work with a one day break, when I had a list in my mind of what to do on Sunday. Back to work yesterday, I just didn’t know what day it was. All in all, it was fun to have the break to celebrate one of my favorite holidays!
This week’s pick for French Fridays with Dorie sounded like a good picnic or cookout dish: Crunchy Ginger Pickled Cucumbers. They were super simple to put together. First, chunks of cucumber are salted and then sit for half an hour to draw out some of their moisture. Then, after draining, the cucumber marinates in a gingery vinegar bath for a few hours (mine went overnight), giving it a quick pickle. Flecks of dried red pepper (I used some Korean chile I had on hand), give them a little fire. Chopped cilantro dresses them up right before serving.
These quick pickles looked promising, but I found them disappointing. Though Howard said the ginger flavor was strong, I mostly tasted the vinegar. I used rice wine vinegar and added sugar to mimic seasoned rice vinegar. I typically find this type of vinegar to have a mild flavor, but, in this dish, it tasted harsh to me. I’m not sure why. I make a ginger cole slaw where the vinegar-to-sugar ratio is 1:1. I like that combination. I’m thinking maybe I had a mental expectation that the end result would be sweeter.
These pickles will get eaten, but I’m not sure I would make them again. Though, I could find a new idea about how to change it up from one of the other Doristas who also made the same recipe this week. I’ll be checking out their links here. If you want the recipe, you’ll find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.