I have been looking forward to this salad since I bought the strawberries 2 days ago when the weather was delightful, but today it is grey and soggy out. No matter, I love salads which mix fruit and vegetables and I also love WINE so I am excited about this.
This gem is one of many from the June chapter, written by Harold Wilshaw, of The Reader’s Digest Cookery Year (1976 edition). Salad Elona was actually invented in the 1930s by cookery writer and journalist Ambrose Heath (1891–1969) for his wife but was popularised by this cookbook. Mr Wilshaw also wrote several other intriguingly titled volumes including Ready when you are: Recipes for Absentee Cooks, Delicious Chicken Dishes (I’m intrigued by this as the cover shows chicken drumsticks in cream sauce with grapes) and Cookbook for the Needy Greedy.
This unusual salad of cucumbers and strawberries is an ideal dish to serve with cold chicken and turkey, or with delicately flavoured fish such as salmon or turbot.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Ingredients (for 4 – 6 people)
1 small cucumber
12 large strawberries
Salt and black pepper
1 – 2 tablespoons of dry white wine or white wine vinegar
Peel the cucumber and slice it thinly. Wash and hull the strawberries, drain them in a colander and then cut them into think even slices. Arrange the slices on a shallow serving dish – an outer circle of cucumber, slightly overlapped by a circle of strawberry, then more cucumber, finishing with a centre of strawberry slices.
Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle the wine or vinegar over the salad and chill in the refrigerator before serving.
- I made a smaller version as per.
- I used wine – I only have red wine vinegar.
- The photo shows off the fact that it is hard to finely slice (by hand) a peeled cucumber and that my pepper grinder produces inconsistently sized pieces of pepper (i.e. they are the black bits!)
Now admittedly I can eat ridiculous quantities of strawberries and cucumber and both were very ripe but this is a lovely, lovely dish. I actually forgot to add the salt and have subsequently read (in another version, also not Heath’s original) that the cucumber should be salted and left to drain prior to assembling. For me, however, this was unnecessary as I ate the salad by itself as a starter and didn’t find it overly watery. Perhaps the salt would be suitable if you were eating it with cold cuts as suggested, as it would give the dish a more savoury flavour. I greatly approve of its simplicity, ease of assembly and bright flavour. If I wanted to make this even faster, I would use a squeeze of lemon or lime juice as dressing and serve instantly.
Circled by Elly