2 medium cucumbers (1 1/4 pounds)—peeled, seeded, quartered lengthwise and
sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup roasted cashews, halved lengthwise or coarsely chopped (4 1/2 ounces)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
In a small skillet, cook the cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a work surface and let cool, then coarsely chop. In a large bowl, combine the cumin seeds with the cucumbers, cashews, scallions, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the parsley; season with salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Turn and cook the chicken until browned on the other side and just cooked through, about 6 minutes longer. Thickly slice each chicken breast crosswise, mound the cucumber salad on top and serve.
Variations Use the cucumber salad as an accompaniment for salmon or bluefish, or mix it with plain yogurt for a version of Indian raita.