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Mustard Oil-Dressed Cucumber Salad

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

The best way to describe this salad is a plate of chemesthesis, a phenomenon caused by chemicals stimulating sensory receptors that detect pain and inflammation, a sensation that should be familiar to anyone who’s eaten horseradish or wasabi.

The fiery nature of the mustard oil with red pepper flakes against the backdrop of the cool cucumbers provides a unique sensory contrast, and it’s the perfect complement to any number of meals, whether you’re grilling some steak in the backyard or sitting down to a South Asian feast. It’s a particularly good accompaniment to rice, seafood, and vegetables, but it has its place on a meat-heavy table, since we’ve found it cuts through heavier foods quite nicely.

Be sure to season the cucumbers with salt just before they’re ready to serve; otherwise, they’ll release a lot of water as the salad sits, which will dilute the dressing.

Published at Tue, 11 Feb 2020 10:27:07 +0000