Salad is the BFF (best friend forever) of seasoned gluten free eaters. Here is another simple, inexpensive gluten free dressing that can be used on many different kinds of fresh vegetable. In this case, we used English cucumbers – those long, long cucumbers that are often sold mysteriously laminated but have the advantage of holding few seeds.
To make attractive edges on the cucumber, increase the fiber in the finished dish, and avoid peeling, we use a fork to deeply score a cucumber from end to end, on all sides. Scoring the cucumber in this way breaks up the peel so the diner does not have to masticate like a herbivore. Then we cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then sliced it crosswise into moon shapes. If you use a standard American cucumber, after halving it remove the seeds by scooping them out with a spoon.
Put the cucumber slices (or grated carrot, daikon radish or whatever vegetable you want to lightly pickle) in to a glass bowl. A fancy bowl is not required – any glass bowl will do.
Mix up the following dressing, pour it over the cucumber slices, stir and chill:
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar (homemade is best)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
- 1 dried cayenne pepper, minced (or 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
- fresh ground black pepper (optional)
You can add more cucumbers to the leftover dressing and serve the same salad again the next day.
A note for the wheat-eater who is serving a gluten free diner: be cautious with the sugar container. Sometimes a tired baker scoops up some flour from the flour container and then uses the same measuring cup to scoop up some sugar. If that’s something you tend to do, use a fresh container of sugar to make this dressing for your gluten free friend.1