I have a high devotion to Dinosaur BBQ. They originated in Central New York, where I grew up, and no early summer gathering was complete without it. Pulled pork, honey hush cornbread, tangy/sweet baked beans…yeah, you get the picture. One of the unsung heroes at Dino was their Tomato-Cucumber Salad. You see, with all that pork fat, butter and brown sugar, you need something fresh and acidic to balance it out. A BBQ palate cleanser, if you will.
This Persian-inspired salad in the same vein, but brightened up with fresh herbs, lime juice and sumac. Never worked with sumac? It’s a wonderful ruby red herb popular in Middle Eastern cooking. It adds a unique fruity tartness to meat, veggies and grains (try it sprinkled over hummus). It’s just the thing to add like to early season tomatoes and cucumbers. I have big plans on making this salad all summer with grilled lamb and chicken kebabs. And maybe some of that honey hush cornbread.
Inspired by The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia
- 5 Persian cucumbers, diced
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 teaspoons dried spearmint
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons minced chives or scallions
- Juice from 1 lime
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomato, dried and fresh mint and chives. Add lime juice, olive oil and salt to taste. Sprinkle with sumac before serving.