“The first time I made this celery-brined cucumber salad with fresh ginger recipe was for a wedding, and it embodies the kind of simple creativity that makes my heart smile. The natural salt in celery makes its juice act as a sort of brine, which I turn into a vibrant dressing with lemon juice, oil, fresh ginger and sugar. This salad is delicious on its own but also elevates any grilled meat and is great in a sandwich.”
- 2 large cucumbers
- 300 g celery, cut into chunks
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 4 T brown sugar
- salt, to taste
- 100 g fresh ginger, finely sliced julienne
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 4 T canola oil
- 8 g sesame seeds
1. Thinly slice the cucumbers into rounds. Blend the celery, lemon juice, sugar, salt, half the ginger and the water until smooth.
2. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the liquid into a container, squeezing out the excess liquid. Submerge the cucumber slices in the celery juice. Add the remaining ginger to the cucumber-celery mixture and chill for 1 hour.
3. Heat a pan and add the oil and sesame seeds. Fry gently over a medium heat until nutty and golden brown. Season with salt. To serve, arrange the cucumber salad on a serving platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Top with charred chillies if you like.
Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production and Recipes: Khanya Mzongwana
Food Assistant: Kate Ferreira