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A crunchy cucumber salad

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NEW YORK TIMES PHOTO

Crunchy cucumbers and creamy avocados are the stars of this simple five-ingredient salad. Peeling the cucumbers in alternating stripes helps them soak up seasonings while maintaining their shape. After being cut into bite-size pieces, they are combined with salt to draw out moisture, concentrating their flavor. Cubed avocado is tossed with lemon juice or vinegar to prevent browning, then everything is stirred together vigorously so that the avocado breaks down a bit to add a glossy coating. Finish with a hit of red-pepper flakes for heat, or embellish with herbs, lettuces, beans, soft-boiled eggs, feta, nuts and so on.

Cucumber-Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

• 2 scallions, trimmed then sliced crosswise 1/4-inch-thick

Ice

• 1 pound cucumbers (such as6 Persian or mini seedless, or 1 English)

Kosher salt

• 2 very ripe avocados

• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice, or unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more as needed

Red-pepper flakes or hot sauce, for serving

Directions:

Transfer the scallions to a small bowl of ice water to crisp.

Peel the cucumbers in alternating strips and trim ends. If desired, halve lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut cucumbers into bite-size pieces (thin slices, 1/2-inch cubes, or smashed into irregular shapes), then transfer to a colander set in the sink. Toss with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside to drain, at least 5 minutes or up to 15.

When you’re ready to eat, halve the avocados and remove the pits. Using a spoon, remove the flesh from the skins, then cut the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl, add the lemon juice and season with salt. Stir to combine.

Shake the cucumbers in the colander to get rid of any excess moisture, then transfer to the bowl with the avocado. Drain and shake the scallions in the colander. Add the scallions to the bowl.

Stir the salad ingredients vigorously just until the avocado breaks down a bit. The cucumbers should be glossed with avocado but the majority of the avocado pieces should still remain cubed. Season to taste with salt, lemon and red-pepper flakes or hot sauce.

Total time: 15 minutes, serves 4.

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