Crab, Corn and Compressed Cucumber Salad with Citrus, Avocado and Roasted Radish

Most times, really good dishes are dictated by really good ingredients. After receiving “Micro Cucumber” from Kate at Lucky Leaf Garden, I took the crab salad from last week back to the drawing board. When she dropped it off, she said that it was actually micro borage rather than cucumber, but after tasting it I could understand the moniker. It was really clean, really crisp and it tasted exactly like fresh cucumber.

Borage is an interesting little plant that is harvested for both culinary and medicinal purposes. As previously stated, the leaves taste very much like cucumber. Originally it was used to produce the liqueur called “Pimm’s ” in the 1800’s, but they have since switched to cucumber peel for flavoring. Borage is still commonly used to garnish the “Pimm’s Cup” cocktail. While at the Firely distillery several weeks ago I enjoyed a cocktail made with Firefly’s Skinny Tea and cucumber that I look forward to re-creating with the borage as a perfect garnish.

The rest of this dish consists of fresh roasted corn, guacamole and a dressing of Xeres vinegar and mayonnaise. There is also the roasted radish puree from last week, and you’ll notice that the color looks better. The radishes were roasted for a shorter amount of time, giving it better color and a lighter flavor. Also of note on this dish is the compressed cucumber, which is like cucumber squared. It was made by peeling, then vacuum packing the cucumber on the cryovac machine’s highest setting, pulling out the two things that always kill flavor: Air and water. It took on a dense, glassy appearance and intense flavor.

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