Cut a 600g cucumber in half lengthways, then into short pieces, about 6m in length. On a chopping board, lightly bruise the flesh with a rolling pin or the flat side of a kitchen knife, to soften it. Put the cucumber in a colander over a mixing bowl, sprinkle lightly with salt and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Make the dressing: put 120g of smooth peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Add 3 tbsp of white tahini, 1 tbsp of dark soy, 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar and the juice of a lime.
Slice a medium, mild red chilli in half lengthways, scrape out its seeds, then finely chop and add to the dressing. Stir in 3 tbsp of boiling water and set aside.
Cut 2 ripe peaches in half and remove the stones. Slice each half into 4 thin segments and place in a mixing bowl. Roughly chop 70g of salted, roasted cashews and add to the peaches. Chop 30 coriander leaves and 15 mint leaves and toss with peaches. Remove the cucumber from the fridge and stir gently with the peaches, herbs and, lastly, the peanut butter dressing.
A few whole, salted and roasted cashews, and perhaps a handful of whole coriander and small, young mint leaves, can be scattered over as you transfer the salad to a serving bowl. Enough for 2 as a main course salad, 4 alongside other dishes.
The purpose of bashing the cumber with a rolling pin or knife is to soften and tenderise it. The salt works its magic, too, but add just a light grinding.
The end of the peach season is almost upon us, but I find the small, flat peaches – known as “saturn” or “doughnut” peaches, are still in fine fettle.
This salad makes a good filling for summer rolls. Cut the cucumbers smaller – even into coarse matchsticks. Moisten the rice paper wrappers, fill with the peach and cucumber salad and roll up.
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