One of my favorite things about French food is its simplicity. You may be thinking that French food seems quite complicated, but I would guess that you’re referring to the fancy Parisian restaurants that specialize in haute cuisine. Salads like this refreshing and minimalist concombre a la menthe (cucumber mint) salad showcase the best of French simplicity.
Concombre a la menthe
Real French food is simple, uncomplicated, and incredibly delicious. Take this concombre a la menthe salad, a simple medley of sliced cucumbers and mint with a fuss-free yogurt dressing.
You can whip up this salad in a matter of minutes, serving this dish as a light accompaniment to some grilled beef or lamb.
I was actually inspired to make this concombre a la menthe salad after making some slow-cooked lamb, knowing this light and refreshing salad would go perfectly with the hearty lamb.
I love this salad because it utilizes yogurt in the dressing instead of cream or mayonnaise. While I’m a big fan of both cream and mayonnaise, they can be a bit heavy to consume when you’re preparing yourself for a hearty meal like slow-cooked lamb.
This concombre a la menthe salad is the perfect side or appetizer to enjoy as a refreshing addition that doesn’t overwhelm your appetite.
I think it was only until a few years ago that people looked at yogurt as anything other than a breakfast option or mid-day snack served with fresh fruit and/or granola. But with the healthy food craze that’s taken off in recent years, yogurt has become a healthy substitute for many of our favorite condiments, including salad dressing.
To appreciate this concombre a la menthe salad to the fullest, it’s best to use a full-fat, plain yogurt rather than low-fat or greek. The low-fat will probably be too watery and the greek will be too thick.
The neutral-flavored cucumber and yogurt are made flavorful with some salt, pepper, fresh mint, and a splash of red wine vinegar. The radish slices are my personal addition and provide a sharp kick, giving this salad a little more oomph without any extra fuss.
I warn you not to be surprised if you find yourself delighting in this incredibly simple salad!
Concombre a la menthe
A light and refreshing cucumber salad.
- 1 lb Persian cucumbers peeled and sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
- 7 mint leaves separated
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 a radish sliced thinly
- salt and pepper to taste
Pat dry cucumber slices with a paper towel to absorb some of the water. Toss the cucumbers with a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Take 4 of the mint leaves and slice them thinly into ribbons (chiffonade). In your serving bowl, whisk the yogurt with the mint leaves, the red wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
Add the cucumber slices and stir together with a large spoon. Garnish the salad with the sliced radish and remaining mint leaves.
Make sure to use a full-fat yogurt rather than low-fat or greek for best consistency.