Sunday 27 October 2013

Cucamelon Bloody Mary Salad

Dear readers,

There aren't many cucamelon recipes out there so I found it difficult to find inspiration. Many of my friends suggested that I make a cocktail with the cucamelons, perhaps something involving gin, since cucumber and gin make a good pairing. I thought to myself, why not make both a cocktail and a food recipe in one? I always love the addition of alcohol in food because it creates an extra dimension of flavour as well as excitement!

 Cucamelon Bloody Mary Salad
100g cucamelons
120g baby plum tomatoes
3 red chillis
100ml vodka
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 handful celery leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Slice the cucamelons, baby plum tomatoes and chillis and place in a bowl with the vodka. Allow to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight (this depends on how strong you would like the alcohol; overnight soaking will provide quite a kick!). Drain the vodka-soaked vegetables, add the rest of the ingredients and mix gently.

This salad can be served as a side dish or, since the flavours (and alcohol) are quite strong, it can be served as a canapé or a palate cleanser at a dinner party served in spoons or shot glasses.

This salad seems to go through a sequence of flavours as it is being eaten. It begins with fresh flavours and crunchy textures (especially from the cucuamelons), followed by the warmth of the alcohol which slowly develops into quite a kick at the end with the deeper, more 'Bloody-Mary-like' flavours of the celery seeds and leaves near the end. It is certainly different from most other salads and causes quite a stir!

I'm, actually, not a huge fan of vodka, but decided to stick with vodka in this recipe so that it wouldn't be too unusual. The vodka can easily be substituted for a different alcoholic spirit, such as tequila, and name the salad "Bloody Maria" instead of "Bloody Mary" (I regret not doing this in the first place now, since I much prefer tequila to vodka!).

Instead of cucamelons, chunks of cucumber could be substituted.