We all have those recipes that we go back to time and time again. They're perfect for a specific time of year, or they're often requested by friends and family, or they're a comfort food that we couldn't live without. Over time, though, those recipes can get a little stale and in need of freshening up.
So last week, when I went to make the first cucumber mojito salad of the summer, I looked at the recipe (one of the very first I posted on this site, over 3 years ago) and decided it needed a little change. At the time, the only thing that the recipe had in common with a mojito was the mint and sugar - no lime, no rum. How hard could it be to include all those ingredients and actually have the title be correct? Not hard at all.
This new version is very similar to the old version, but it's a little more refreshing in the Happy Hour sense of the word. The rum isn't overpowering, just present enough to give the dressing a tiny hint of zing. I couldn't stop snacking on these as I prepared dinner, so I must have done something right with this recipe!
Have you overhauled a favorite recipe?
Cucumber Mojito Salad Redux
1 English cucumber
20-25 fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup sugar (I actually prefer Splenda for this)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup white rum (or 1 nip bottle)
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1-inch fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Slice the cucumber into paper-thin slices (a mandoline works perfectly). Put slices in a large bowl and set aside.
In a blender or food processor, puree the rest of the ingredients. Pour over the cucumbers, tossing to cover with the dressing. Refrigerate for at least half an hour to let the flavors meld.
Oh, and don't throw away the cucumber juice at the bottom of the bowl. Add it to more rum or some gin for a light cocktail!