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Quick and Easy, Salads, Vegetarian

Persian cucumber salad with walnuts and golden raisins

Persian cucumber salad with walnuts and golden raisins
Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

It's a great time of year for kitchen gardeners. Good rains mean great greens, and we've been happily tracking muddy footprints into the house as we bring in fresh-cut large-leaf mache or Italian wild arugula. At the same time, we're ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 6
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, unsprayed rose petals (optional), washed and dried, plus additional for garnish, or 1 tablespoon dried rose petals
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 (16-ounce) container good-quality plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and finely minced
  • 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and very finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus whole sprigs for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus whole sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus whole sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 pound (3 to 4) Persian cucumbers, washed, dried and sliced crosswise very thinly
  • 2 small radishes, sliced as thinly as possible

Step 1Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan, add the raisins and turn off the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain and transfer the raisins to a small bowl. Mix in the rose petals; set aside to cool.

Step 2In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, toast the walnuts until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cool.

Step 3In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, shallot, herbs, salt and pepper and mix with a rubber spatula until well blended. Add the sliced cucumbers and radishes, and stir to combine.

Step 4Just before serving, add the walnuts and raisin mixture and stir well to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish the outer edge of the bowl with sprigs of basil, mint and dill. Scatter a few rose petals over the top.

Note: If you have access to fresh, unsprayed rose petals, they add a lovely, subtle flavor and beautiful color. Dried rose petals are available in Middle Eastern or Latino markets, or the Latino sections of well-stocked supermarkets (they will be hanging with the dried spices). Greek yogurt is available at well-stocked supermarkets. Persian cucumbers are available at well-stocked supermarkets, Middle Eastern markets and farmers markets.

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