Not to have two food items in a row, but… I promised Renu to forward her the recipe for this salad we had the other evening at her home in Beijing thrown together with ingredients in their fridge and pantry, so here it is, all my other visitors to the blog can read it too. And though it was in Beijing there is nothing even remotely Chinese about the salad. Rather the inspiring ingredient was Norwegian if I’m not mistaken, a half-empty bottle of pickled herring…

Cucumber & Herring Salad

Peel (only if necessary) and cut 1-2 cucumbers into relatively chunky bits depending on your choice (I chose wedges but half moons or even complete rounds will work depending on diameter) nd place into a glass bowl that has been rubbed with a cut clove of raw garlic. Mince the garlic and add to cucumbers also. Roughly chop pickled herring (the Mehndiratta fridge had a version pickled in a brine along with slices of onion) and other contents of the pickle if present. If the herring does not have onions, you may want to chop a small red onion and add to the mix. Season with salt and pepper and the juice of fresh lime or lemon. To finish, add a few tablespoons of raw mustard oil, and toss well. Allow to rest for a while in the ‘fridge  for flavors to marry and voila! Simplicity itself.

P.S.  Cucumbers tend to give off water in the presence of salt and so you may end up with rather more dressing that you started with. Depending on the intensity of the flavor you favor, you may add some more mustard oil to the remaining juices, and use the dressing for preparing a ceviche (if you are in an area where you can get good quality raw fish) or simply tossing it with some pre-steamed, peeled shrimp for an interesting alternative to shrimp cocktail.