photo: Richard Harris
This new mutant E.coli bacteria scare and the response raises some questions. Why did the Germans immediately blame Spain for tainted cucumbers when they in fact have nothing to do with it? Why were people affected in the UK, The Netherlands, Germany and France but not Belgium (these other countries form a ring around Belgium)? Now that the culprit seems to be organic sprouts from Northern Germany will this be used by some to restrict organic vegetables?
With Russia putting an embargo on EU vegetables the losses are mounting. Spanish growers are losing 200 million euros a week. Here in Belgium, Flemish growers are losing 6 million euros a week.
Unlike in the US, E.coli scares are very rare in Europe.
So cucumbers have been very inexpensive this week and I've been taking advantage. If you go to Recipe of the Day 2
you will find a Belgian cucumber salad. Here is another:
Creamy Cucumber Salad with Chervil
2 tsp Salt
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 tbsp Ghent Mustard (or Dijon)
Juice of a Lime
1/4 cup minced fresh Chervil (if you can't find Chervil, a mixture of tarragon and parsley with sort of approximate the taste)
Freshly ground black Pepper
Unless your cucumbers are waxed, don't peel. Just score lengthwise all around with a fork and slice.
Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle with the salt, mix, and let drain for at least an hour (two-three hours is best).
Whisk together the cream and mustard until a little thickened. Season with the lemon juice, chervil and pepper. Don't add any salt.
Once the cucumbers have drained well, toss with the dressing and refrigerate. Can be eaten immediately but I prefer to give it some time.