A variation of sliced cucumbers seasoned with salt and pepper and covered with vinegar, my new favorite side for grilled fish, meats or sandwiches is this delicious Marinated Cucumber and Basil. This is derived from a Japanese style pickle which uses Shiso instead of Basil. Shiso is an aromatic Asian herb which is becoming more popular but I do not have a good source for it, and I love basil. I added a just picked glossy jalapeno pepper, and the result was a perfect combination of sweet and heat served with a crunch. If you can’t take the heat, leave out the pepper, but be sure to try this. Try the marinade on carrots, radishes, onions, or almost any other summer vegetable. I like zucchini rounds!
Marinated Cucumber and Basil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons sweet Mirin, a Japanese rice wine
1 Tablespoon sea salt
2 English cucumbers
1 seeded, sliced jalapeno pepper
8 or 10 large fresh basil leaves
Mix sugar, vinegar, Mirin, and salt in glass or pottery bowl (non-reactive). Whisk until salt and sugar are dissolved. Slice cucumber very thin. Wash and pat basil leaves dry, then stack them and roll them. You may shred with a small sharp knife or cut across with kitchen shears.. Add cucumber slices and basil to marinade, tossing to cover as well as possible. They will shrink as they marinate. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.