A summery salsa made with cool, refreshing cukes and a habanero kick.
This family consumes ridiculous amounts of jarred salsa in any given week, along with equally ridiculous amounts of tortilla chips. If we were smart we would buy stock in Tostitos and Old El Paso.
As much as we love the traditional flavors of tomato-based salsas, it’s been fun to experiment with different main ingredients.
Especially during the summer months with so much produce inspiration! Spicy Island Salsa with Pineapple & Coconut was born from our ingredient exploration, as was this Cucumber Salsa.
We tend to think of any salsa variety as pairing just fine with salty tortilla chips, and this one is no exception.
However for this cucumber creation, I looked for a new way to serve and enjoy it.
My digging around found a delicious pairing of cucumbers with goat cheese.
With this in mind I toasted little slices of French loaves, added a schmear of chèvre and a spoonful of Cucumber Salsa on top.
The earthy tang of the goat cheese is a nice foil to the bright taste of salsa, and also offers a bit of relief from the spicy pepper.
Try this – the recipe is below – and other fresh salsas too!
Cucumber Salsa with Chèvre on Toast
- 3 large cucumbers, washed well
- 1 medium red onion (approx. 11 ounces)
- 1/2 of one small habanero pepper, washed (Note: habanero adds beautiful specks of color but also heat! To cut back on the spiciness, use less of the pepper)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus extra if making toasts with chèvre)
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 of a lime, or about 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 1 mini baguette or small loaf of soft bread, approximately 7 ounces
- 8 ounces classic chèvre goat cheese
Prepare the cucumbers:
- Peel off and discard the skin. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon-sized measuring spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Slice the cucumbers lengthwise into long strips, lay them together and cut across to cut them into small pieces (about ½-inch sized.) Place cut cucumber into a large bowl.
- Finely dice the red onion and add them to the bowl.
- Wear gloves to keep the oils from the habanero off your skin. If you’re not using gloves keep your hands away from your face while handling the pepper and then wash them well after. Slice the habanero in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and membranes. Slice the two halves of pepper into thin strips and then cut across the strips to dice them. Add the diced pepper to the bowl.
- Add the vinegar, oil, salt and black pepper to the bowl, and stir well to combine everything. Cover and refrigerate the salsa for about two hours to allow the flavors to meld.
- Makes 6 cups of salsa
To prepare the Cucumber Salsa on Toast with Chèvre:
- Slice the mini baguette or small loaf into 15 small slices. Toast the slices until they are lightly browned. Allow the toasts to cool completely.
- Spread each toast with approximately ½-ounce of Chèvre (about a tablespoon.)
- Top the cheese with a teaspoon or two of Cucumber Salsa, pressing the salsa into the cheese to help it stay put. Add a very tiny pinch of salt (just a few grains) to the tops of each toast. Serve them immediately.
- Makes 15 servings