Cucumber-and-Mâche Salad Recipe (2024)

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There are lots of common names for the seeds of Nigella sativa: black caraway, black cumin, fennel flower seeds, Roman coriander seed, etc. Nigella seed is an essential component of panch phoron, the classic Bengali 5-spice mixture, so you should be able to find it at almost any Indian or Bangladeshi grocer, where it may be labeled as "kalonji."

Penelopek

What are nigella seeds?

Timbo

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise again, for 4 long pieces. Chef calls for thin slices on the diagonal which is tricky, but important. Cutting the cucumber pieces at a 90 degree angle would result in small dice which is visually unappealing. Instead you must cut each piece at a long angle. Look closely at the photo and you will see the pieces of cucumber cut thinly and about 1.5 inches in length. Adjust your cutting angle to achieve this piece length. Its food math!

Susan Johnson

Little black seeds, also used in Indian cooking. Also go by the name kalonji seed. You can find in an Indian grocery store, and surely online. Taste is described as " mild, nutty onion flavor; used as a condiment in India and the Middle East on flatbreads and vegetable dishes." I just made this salad (with the nigella), and I think you would have a yummy - although different - dish even without them.

DD

Mache is a winter vegetable, and cucumbers a summer one. Very difficult to have both at the same time, if from local or garden supply. A tender butter lettuce may have to do.

manysummits

IMHO, the cilantro/mint blast makes the nigella seeds facultative not to say, tasteless. Roasted honey/pine nuts will be added next time.

TriciaPDX

The photo appears to show slices closer to matchsticks. I suspect fiddling with the slicing to suit your own preferences will work as nicely as following the somewhat obscure directions.

Alidanui

The dressing alone is delicious and makes a great dip for vegetables. Make extra!

Deb

It's impossible to find mache in Tucson. You say mache to even gourmet produce manager and you get the deer-in-the-headlight look. Suggested substitutions?

Jennie

I liked this salad--I used little gems instead of mache, because that's what I had. I was attracted to it because of the mint and cilantro, but oddly, found that their flavor disappeared once they were in the salad. But I did like the dressing, and I only used half of it--will make a simpler version tomorrow with just butter lettuce and thin cucumber rounds (cuke was so dense compared to the leaves that I couldn't get both on my fork at once).

Sandra

Butter lettuce is a fine substitute. Cumin seeds substitute for Nigella.This got rave reviews alongside Ottolenghi’s Chile Fish with Tahini and Baked Rice.

marcolius

I couldn't find it, either, even in the food-crazed town of Boulder. Used baby sunflower leaves, from the sprouts section of a local tree-hugging store, and they worked very well. Even similar in appearance. I agree with DD that butter lettuce would be worth a try as well.

Ashe

The dressing can be made extra rich and decadent if you use Lebanese-style yogurt... it was what I had on hand, and WOW!

Sandy

Watercress, Parsley, or Spinach could be used for Purslane/Mache if neither show up at your grocery store.

Alison

Mâche aka known as corn salad or lamb’s lettuce, which might help you find it.

Liz

I made this with purslane and it was unusual and amazing. We loved it. It was my introduction to purslane (which appeared in a CSA share) and I had enough for two tries. The first time I just used the leaves; the second time, I included some of the chopped stem, which added a nice sour touch. (Purslane, like sorrel, is high in oxalic acid.)

BERFB

Made this again with arugula and loved it with less garlic. Great use of veggie garden cucumbers, arugula and herbs!

Abby

One of the best salads I have ever had. I receive so many compliments on this from dinner guests. I recommend substituting cucumber for fennel.

Sandra

Butter lettuce is a fine substitute. Cumin seeds substitute for Nigella.This got rave reviews alongside Ottolenghi’s Chile Fish with Tahini and Baked Rice.

meinmunich

Made without mint and it was still good. An unfamiliar flavor but good and addictive. The kids also gobbled it up. Took some efforts to dry the greens.

Alison

I liked the dressing, but overall this salad was pretty meh.

Jennifer

This wasn’t nearly as tasty as I hoped.

Alison

Mâche aka known as corn salad or lamb’s lettuce, which might help you find it.

Sandy

Watercress, Parsley, or Spinach could be used for Purslane/Mache if neither show up at your grocery store.

Patricia Ochoa

I prefer to slice the cucumber, salt it and drain it for 30 minutes before putting in the dressing. Sliced onions are good addition, also salted and drained.

Chris

What are mache leaves or purslane? My market has never heard of them. Are they like mint? Dill?

MiekoK

Penzeys stocks nigella seeds under "charnushka" and notes it as "a main ingredient in garam masala."

Jennie

I liked this salad--I used little gems instead of mache, because that's what I had. I was attracted to it because of the mint and cilantro, but oddly, found that their flavor disappeared once they were in the salad. But I did like the dressing, and I only used half of it--will make a simpler version tomorrow with just butter lettuce and thin cucumber rounds (cuke was so dense compared to the leaves that I couldn't get both on my fork at once).

maeve

Just to echo DD. This mix of summer and winter or providing recipes for out-of-season vegetables is annoying and, unfortunately, not infrequent.Also, mache is hard to get in season --- and I challenge anyone to find purslane at the market. Even my daughter, who's an organic farmer and grows unusual vegetables, doesn't grow purslane.

Ashe

The dressing can be made extra rich and decadent if you use Lebanese-style yogurt... it was what I had on hand, and WOW!

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Cucumber-and-Mâche Salad Recipe (2024)

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