"Cool as a cucumber" is actually fully rooted in fact: Cucumbers are always a few degrees cooler than room temperature—and if you ask us, this makes them the perfect contender for cooling meals on hot days.
Amber Olson, whose It's Hot to Be Cool Thai-Inspired Cucumber Salad caught our attention, knows that well. She also knows that spicy foods are cooling (they'll make you sweat!), so in addition to those cool cucumbers, she's thrown in Thai-spiced, dry-roasted peanuts. And if things get too hot, just add more creamy dressing, made from silken tofu and minced lemongrass (or take a sip—it's that good).
- 1 large, cold cucumber, washed, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick slices
- Coarse salt
- 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
- Thai hot chile oil, to taste
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup silken tofu
- 1/2 cup rich, creamy cold coconut milk
- 4 teaspoons minced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
- One 2-inch long Serrano pepper, coarsely chopped
- 6 large mint leaves, finely julienned
Do you have a favorite cucumber salad? Tell us in the comments below!