Summer on a plate. Fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and a mixture of hot and sweet banana peppers lightly fried make a wonderful cold salad.
Servings: 4-6Prep Time: 15-20 minutes to assemble Cook Time: 1-2 hours to marinate
2 large cucumbers, or enough to yield 4 cups sliced
1 large yellow or red onion
2-3 ripe tomatoes
3 hot banana peppers
3 sweet banana peppers
Scallions or young green onions or chives
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
red or white wine vinegar
fresh ground pepper and salt to taste.
Peel and slice cucumbers (you will need about 4 cups of cucumber slices). Place in a bowl and sprinkle with two tablespoons salt. Cover with very cold water and soak about one hour.
Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Fry the peppers whole, until just soft, but not browned. A few sear marks are OK. Lift peppers from oil and place directly in a large salad bowl. Do not drain. Reserve the frying oil.
Slice onion into slices and separate into rings. Place on top of peppers. Slice tomatoes as you prefer them and place on top of onions.
Taste your soaking cucumbers. They should be a little salty, but not overly so. Drain and add to the salad. If they are too salty for you, after draining, give them a quick squeeze and a rinse before adding.
Snip the green onion over the top of the salad.
Drizzle the top of the salad with the warm olive oil you used to fry the peppers (more if necessary) and white or red wine vinegar. Don’t over do it…taste as you go. The vinegar should not overpower the vegetables. A dash of balsamic vinegar is also delicious. Toss lightly. Cover tightly with Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or two before serving. The longer, the better. Add salt to taste before refrigerating.
Before serving, toss gently to mix, grind fresh pepper over the top, and enjoy!
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