Smashed Tahini Coated Cucumbers
2 pounds English or hot house cucumbers (about 2 large or 3 medium-large)*
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 large garlic clove peeled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup well-stirred tahini (organic preferred)
¼ cup warm water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (for garnish)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (for garnish)
2 tablespoons hot sauce (such as sriracha)
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
Rinse cucumbers under cold water and pat dry. Trim ends. Cut crosswise into 4-inch pieces, and then cut in half lengthwise. Using a large cutting board, place one or two of the cucumber pieces cut-side down. Place a double thickness of paper towel over the cucumber pieces and strike each along their lengths with a clean rubber mallet. Once may not be enough. When smashed; slice crosswise into one-inch pieces.
Place the cucumbers in a medium mixing bowl, and then sprinkle with salt and sugar; tossing and stirring to mix and coat. Place cucumbers in a colander; place the colander in a bowl slightly larger than the colander. Fill a one-gallon zipper-lock bag with ice, press out the air, seal and place on top of the cucumbers; pressing down hard. Place in the refrigerator for up to four hours. (They can remain in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.) Remove and shake off liquid and discard water.
Make hot sauce seasoning: In a small mixing bowl whisk hot sauce and vinegar together until combined. Set aside.
Make dressing: Add lime juice and garlic to a small food processor and process for 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides, add tahini and warm water and process 10 to 15 seconds; it should be smooth and creamy. Add sesame oil, salt, cumin and oregano and process 5 to 10 seconds. Pour dressing over cucumbers and, with a rubber spatula, stir and fold until evenly coated.
Dust each serving with sesame seeds and parsley. Pass hot sauce seasoning. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition values per serving (not including hot sauce): 131 calories (64.8 percent from fat), 9.4 g fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 10.5 g carbohydrates, 3.4 g sugars, 2.4 g fiber, 3.9 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 154 mg sodium.
Note: Just 17 percent of the total calories come from the cucumbers skewing the percentage of calories coming from fat to the high side.
*Fresh garden cucumbers will work, too, but you may have to peel them since their skins can be tough.