Cucumbers and buttermilk…the way to Ben’s heart! I’d never had cukes and buttermilk until I had my first dinner with my hubby’s family way back nearly 20 years ago. Oh, yeah, I can still remember the unbelievable country feast I age–more on that later!
Ben’s Mom, whom we fondly call Mama Helen, was a fabulous cook. While she doesn’t cook much now, she still enjoys these family dishes, which have been handed down to me and her grandchildren and great-grands. She’s got so many that are just so reflective of good Western North Carolina mountain food, most all, of course, made with only the freshest ingredients. Mama Helen didn’t use Armenian cukes, but the small baby ones, like pickling cukes, that she used were sweet tender and full of flavor. That’s the key to this dish…those cucumbers have to have flavor, the skins have to be tender, avoid the waxy tough dark dark green skins, and you’ll be assured of Mother Nature’s seasoning!
What you need:
3 cups thin-medium sliced Armenian (or English) cukes (Note: you want a good cuke that does NOT have a waxy, tough skin as you’ll leave the skin on…score the cuke with a fork, dragging the fork down the cuke and all the way around)
6 green onions with tops chiffonade sliced
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
½ tsp red chili flakes (more if you like spicier!)
What you do:
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and blend. Refrigerate a few hours before serving.
©Alice D’Antoni Phillips Ally’s Kitchen