This recipe is super quick and easy, but for all you visual learners out there, here’s a breakdown of the steps.
Toast the Almonds
Dress the almonds in the liquid smoke and a little salt, before spreading out onto a baking tray and popping in the oven. These guys LOVE to burn so don’t leave the kitchen. Keep an eye on them until they’ve JUST picked up some colour. Leave to cool.
Smack the Cucumber!
No, that isn’t just the name of the salad. We actually need you to do it. Tearing the cucumber apart means it has a much rougher texture, rather than being sliced. This means it soaks up much more of the flavours in the dressing and it makes a huge difference to the overall mouthfeel of the dish. Just be careful you don’t spray your kitchen with cucumber seeds!
The most important part of this step is that you add the garlic and the vinegar first. The acidity of the vinegar cooks the garlic slightly so you won’t find the flavour overpowering. This is a good idea for all salad dressings where you intend to use garlic. It’s also a good idea to use a jam jar to shake everything together – it really makes life easier.
The last step, once your cucumber salad is dressed, is to top with all the little extras. I love Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru) because they have so much flavour but aren’t overpowering when it comes to heat. They also make the salad pop visually! Finish with your smoky almonds and you’re good to go!