|Cucumber Shooters |
(yields 12 shooters)
8 cucumbers (the conventional field variety)
1/4 cup fresh mint, stems removed before measuring
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeño, stem and seeds discarded, minced
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut 2-1/2 inches off both ends of the cucumbers. Reserve.
Peel middle sections, cut in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out seeds. Discard seeds.
To make the gazpacho: In a food processor, add the middle sections of the cucumbers along with the mint, shallot, jalapeño, lime juice and garlic. Purée.
Strain puréed mixture through a fine strainer into a medium bowl. Use a rubber spatula to press out as much juice as possible from the mash. Discard solids. Whisk in oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour.
Take the 12 most aesthetically pleasing cucumber ends and slice off the bottom 1/4 inch so they stand solidly on their ends. Use a zester, paring knife or vegetable peeler to create designs in the peel.
Use a melon baller or a tiny spoon to scoop out the seeds and some of the surrounding cucumber, creating a cucumber shot glass. Serve the chilled cucumber gazpacho in the sculpted cups.