The concept of the “smashed” cucumber salad showed up last week on one of my favorite food podcasts. The next day I heard about it on another food podcast. The third day, I stumbled across a picture of it online. Was the universe trying to tell me something? Was it in my destiny to make smashed cucumber salads?

No, I’m not drunk, or anything fun like that, and neither are these “smashed” cucumbers. They are actually SMASHED using a knife or even a frying pan. Originally a Sichuan dish, the practice of smashing cucumbers, salting them, and then vibrantly dressing them has gone mainstream.

Here are my two takes on the concept: One of them is a light, summery take on a Thai green curry. The the other one was inspired by a traditionally meat and dairy heavy Italian chopped salad.

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