Got cucumbers coming out your ears? Here are two very simple ways to enjoy that bounty: the vinegar-based Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad and a Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad with a yogurt or sour cream dressing. You’ve got better things to do than be in the kitchen all day, so try these quick-to-prepare salads. The tangy vinegar-based cucumber salad should be made at least 4 hours ahead of time, preferably longer, but the yogurt and dill cucumber salad can be served immediately.
Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad
- 2 to 3 medium cucumbers
- 1 small onion
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Combine vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper in a quart jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover tightly and shake well until sugar is dissolved. (Sugar amount may be adjusted to taste – some people do like it sweeter, some more tart. I find this amount is a good middle ground that can be enjoyed by most.)
Wash cucumbers and peel, if desired. Slice the cucumbers thinly (1/8 inch or thinner, if you can manage). Peel and slice the onion thinly as well. Layer the sliced veggies into the jar of vinegar/sugar. Seal and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably 8 hours or overnight. Shake the jar occasionally, if you think of it. Any container may be used of course – I just find a leakproof jar very convenient, as I usually prepare this salad to take along and share.
Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad
For this next recipe, I prefer to use a thick, greek yogurt, preferably one made with whole milk. Barring that, I substitute some good, real sour cream for half of the yogurt, which helps increase the Creaminess Quotient, thereby hiking the Make-This-Again-Soon Factor. Also, I have been known to toss a finely minced garlic clove in this salad on occasion. Try it!
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
- scant 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp dill weed
- 2/3 cup yogurt or sour cream or mixture of both
- Additional chopped red onion and dill weed for garnish, if desired
Wash and peel the cucumbers, then quarter them lengthwise. Cut the quarters into appoximately 1/4 inch slices and add to a medium mixing bowl with the chopped red onion. (Why are they called red onions when they look so purple to me?)
Sprinkle the salt, pepper and dill weed evenly over the cucumbers and onions, then plop the yogurt on
top of it all. Using a large spoon, gently stir with a folding motion, until mixed well and all pieces are coated with the dressing. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with additional chopped red onion and just a pinch of dill weed. Serve immediately or chill for an hour or two.
One last thing.
Make it pretty. If neither you nor your guests mind eating cucumber skin, you can skip the peeling step and do this instead: wash and dry the cucumbers, then scrape the tines of a fork the full length of the cuke, on all sides, before slicing. This gives you cucumbers slices with frilly edges, which adds eye appeal to a salad. Personally, I do this only if I can get unwaxed cucumbers from a local market rather than from the grocery store. While the coating material is Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, I just don’t care to eat it.
Bobbie Laughman is an elder caregiver and freelance writer living in Gettysburg, PA. One of her favorite pastimes is the annual game of “Dodge the Tourists and College Students” played by area residents, whether they want to or not.
Contact Bobbie at Bobbie@home-ec101.com if you have a question you’d like her to answer.