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Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Wisconsin-Winter Food Dreams: Cucumber Salad Recipe Defies Ice Dam

Jimmy the Ground Hog in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin said spring would come early in Wisconsin. And it is. Lately, we’ve had days of 33 degrees on which kids descend coat-less from the school bus exclaiming, “It’s so WARM!” A few birds are tentatively singing. And when the snow falls, some of it even melts. But this melting is not all good at the end of this Wisconsin winter. Melting means that the snow which melted into water must now go somewhere. And when the snow on the roof melts, where will this new rooftop river run when the gutters remain packed with 9″ of ice? This ice dam is too high for the water to surmount, so instead that water flows through the roof and runs down the inside walls of the house. A waterfall right in the house. Such is the stuff of dreams.

Time for a food dream, – a summer food dream. It’s the only path past winter frustration. Must dream of food symbolizing summer. Must make summer salads. Must make herbed Greek salad with cucumbers! Read on for the recipe.

No better place to look for summer than in the cookbook, From Asparagus to Zucchini: A guide to farm-fresh seasonal produce. The Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition put out this cookbook of recipes submitted by its members. These folks are farmers and chefs who live for fresh produce and healthy cooking. As I write, they prepare for spring planting. They’re buying seeds, and readying equipment. They’re reserving their spots at the many Wisconsin farmers’ markets. These folks lead the path away from winter. In honor of the hope they inspire, I offer this cucumber salad recipe created by Cathy Peterson of the Madison Herb Society. Make the salad recipe, enjoy it, and turn your back to winter.

Herbed Greek Salad

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced black Greek olives
  • 1 cup sliced radishes
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine cheese, olives, radishes, green onions, and cucumbers in a large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Toss dressing with vegetable mixture. Chill 1-2 hours. Makes 6-8 servings.

This recipe will make you dream of planting an herb garden. And this is an excellent food dream. Wisconsin may have long winters, but we also have delicious foods!



  1. Oh my gosh!! I am growing ALL of that in my garden this year!! I CAN’T WAIT!!

  2. cucumber is my favorite all the time..

  3. Interesting writing! Are there any predictions that you maybe willing to divulge in order to illustrate your second section a bit more? cheers

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