Hothouse cucumbers, sometimes called English or European cucumbers, usually have fewer, softer seeds than regular cucumbers and a thinner, unwaxed skin.
For the cook, that means no need for peeling and seeding. Here, the cucumbers are sliced into rounds and used as a base for curried shrimp. A little yogurt sauce binds them together, making a one-bite treat that is at once cool and spicy.
Choose shrimp that will be about the same size as, or smaller than, the cucumber rounds; shrimp labeled "large" (31-40 count) should be just right. The cucumber and shrimp should be small enough to be a one-bite treat.
The sauce can be made a few hours ahead, but do not add the salt until just before serving or the sauce might become watery.
Servings: 24 pieces
- For the yogurt sauce
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt, preferably Greek-style yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
- Pinch salt
- For the shrimp
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
- Pinch salt
- 24 large uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 large (10 ounces) seedless, hothouse cucumber (unpeeled), cut into rounds 1/4- to 1/3-inch thick
For the yogurt sauce: Combine the yogurt, dill and lemon zest in a small bowl; the sauce will be thick. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Add the salt, stirring to combine, just before serving.
For the shrimp: Heat the oil in a medium to large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the onions are translucent and have softened. Add the curry powder and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning the shrimp as needed and stirring to combine. Transfer the shrimp mixture to a large plate to cool for 10 minutes.
While the shrimp are cooling, arrange the cucumber rounds on a platter. Top each with a small dollop of the yogurt sauce. Place one of the cooled shrimp on top of each dollop and top with a bit of the onion mixture. Serve immediately.
From In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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