Virgin sunflower oilextra virgin olive oil can be substituted
Kosher salt and pepperto taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper for the pickled shallots
Comfrey flowersto garnish (optional)
Lemon balmto taste (about 5-6 leaves depending on size)
First pickle the shallot. Bring the honey, water, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a small pot, then turn off the heat. Peel the shallot, then trim both of the ends. Slice the shallot into 1/8 in thick rings, then pour the still hot vinegar-honey mixture over the sliced shallots. Chill the shallots and reserve.
Meanwhile, slice the cucumber in half lengthwise, then, using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Slice the cucumber on a mandoline or with a sharp knife into 1/4 inch slices.
To serve, arrange the slices of cucumber on a chilled salad plate. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then with olive oil.
Scatter the pickled shallots haphazardly over the cucumber, then tear the lemon balm into 1/2 inch pieces and place them on top of the cucumbers. Garnish lastly with a few comfrey flowers if using, and serve immediately.
Sweet tasting comfrey flowers make a great garnish for this, they're optional though.You could use a regular cucumber instead of the English ones too, if you do, you'll want to peel and seed it.Lastly, a great variation is to salt the cucumbers after they're cut, then drain the water they give off and dress them with a little yoghurt.