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A&E >  Cooking

Fluffy grated egg delivers a pop of color and protein to this creamy cucumber salad

UPDATED: Mon., July 20, 2020

By Ellie Krieger Special To The Washington Post

The name mimosa may immediately conjure a champagne cocktail, but here it refers to the fluffy, sunny-yellow egg garnish which, like the drink, is named for its resemblance to the flowers of the mimosa tree.

Simply made by grating hard-boiled eggs on the large holes of a box grater, it adds panache and protein when sprinkled over steamed or sauteed vegetables, avocado toast, salads and such.

Here it adorns a cool, creamy cucumber salad for a pretty, two-tiered presentation.

I prefer English cucumbers for the salad because they have fewer seeds than other varieties and their skins are thin enough that you can leave them unpeeled, adding vibrant color and nutrients to the final dish. If you use another type, you may want to peel them if their skins are on the tougher side.

After thinly slicing the cucumber (this is a good time to break out your mandolin if you have one – if not, a sharp knife is fine), toss them with the sliced onion, sprinkle them with salt and set both in a colander for 20 minutes so they can expel some of their water. This step, along with blotting them with paper towel, prevents the salad from becoming watery, concentrates the cucumber’s flavor, and gives the vegetable a firmer, crisper texture.

The cucumber and onion are then tossed in a Greek yogurt-based dressing with a pop of fragrant dill fronds for a salad that is light and fresh, with a delectable creaminess. Topped with the egg mimosa, it becomes an elegant side or vegetarian main dish for a picnic, cookout or brunch – a dish which, come to think of it, would pair well with that champagne cocktail.

Cucumber Salad Mimosa

2 large English cucumbers (about 12 ounces each)

½ medium red onion, thinly sliced into half moons

½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

⅓ cup low-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh dill fronds, plus more for garnish

3 large hard-boiled eggs, at room temperature, peeled

Trim the ends off the cucumbers and then slice them in half lengthwise. Using a dessert spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds, then thinly slice the cucumber into half moons. In a colander set over a sink or a bowl, toss the cucumber and onion with ¼ teaspoon salt and set aside for 20 minutes to drain. Pat the cucumber-onion mixture with paper towels to remove as much excess water as possible.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar and pepper. Add the cucumber, onion and dill, and toss to coat.

Using the large holes of a box grater set over a small bowl, grate the eggs. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.

Right before serving, sprinkle the egg on top of the cucumber salad.

Note: To make hard-boiled eggs, add about 1 inch of water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Place up to 6 eggs in a steamer insert that fits in the pot and gently lower the steamer in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and steam the eggs for exactly 13 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ice and cold water. When the eggs are finished steaming, transfer them to the ice bath and let sit for 5 minutes. Peel immediately, if possible.

Make ahead: The cucumber salad and egg mimosa topping may be prepared up to two days ahead and stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Yield: 6 servings

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