Ginger and a Szechwan Cucumber Salad

The aroma of ginger is pungent and aromatic, while the flavor is characterized by its unique combination of lemon-citrus, soapy and musty-earthy flavor notes. It is warming to taste.

The aroma of ginger is pungent and aromatic, while the flavor is characterized by its unique combination of lemon-citrus, soapy and musty-earthy flavor notes. It is warming to taste.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

Ginger is the dried, knobby-shaped root of the perennial herb Zingiber officinale. The plant grows two to three feet tall, and once the leaves of the plant die, its thick roots, about six inches long, are dug up.

Ginger is used in Indian curries as well as Chinese, Japanese and European spice blends. Crystallized ginger is simply fresh gingerroot cooked in syrup and dried. China and India are the principal sources of ginger, while crystallized ginger generally is imported from Australia.

The aroma of ginger is pungent and aromatic, while the flavor is characterized by its unique combination of lemon-citrus, soapy and musty-earthy flavor notes. It is warming to taste.

During the 15th century, gingerbread became a gift indicating love and respect. In the 1800s, ginger was commonly sprinkled on top of beer or ale, then stirred into the drink with a hot poker — thus the invention of ginger-ale.

 

Szechwan Cucumber Salad 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 medium cucumbers, seeded, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts

Instructions:

Whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, oil, parsley flakes, sugar, ground ginger and ground red pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Toss together cucumber and red onion. Whisk dressing and drizzle over cucumber mixture. Toss. Serve on lettuce leaves topped with peanuts.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 5, October/November 2005.

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