Mom's cucumber salad...
Summer wasn't summer growing up if The Motley Monk's Mom didn't make her tasty cucumber salad. This doesn't seem like something that kids would like because cucumbers are vegetables, after all! But, the dressing she made had a sweet-sour balance that made these vegetables worth eating.
As it ends up, my Mom's recipe is pretty simple and straightforward. A bit of time is needed for the ingredients to sit in the refrigerator to get accustomed to each other.
While some cucumber salad
recipes call for scoring the skin with a fork, The Motley Monk likes to
peel the cucumber with a potato peeler. Most recipes also call for slicing
the cucumbers and onion. This is a good idea but not a very good
idea because The Motley Monk believes that the thinner the slice, the
better the slice, especially for this salad as very thinly-sliced cucumber and
onion allows the flavors to permeate each slice. To achieve this preferred outcome,
The Motley Monk hauls out the mandolin.
Only a mandolin
is able to make the uniformly sized, thin slices that make this a very good
Many recipes—including my Mom's—call for salting the cucumber and setting it aside in a bowl to allow the juices to become extracted from the cucumber. The reason? Doing so keeps the dressing from becoming watery. Again a good idea but not a very good idea. Those juices are healthy and, The Motley Monk believes, should be incorporated into the dressing!
So, go ahead, and mix the sliced cucumber and onions in a bowl. Set the bowl to the side.
making the dressing. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add: fresh ground
pepper, celery salt, sugar, fresh dill, and sour cream. The proportions
are provided in the recipe at the bottom of this webpage. The dressing will
be somewhat thick, not runny. (Some recipes call for the addition of
mayonnaise. The Motley Monk doesn't use mayonnaise in this recipe
but does not object to its use.)
Then add the
dressing to the cucumbers and onions and fold together, separating the cucumber
slices so they get completely covered with the dressing. Taste and adjust
seasoning as necessary. Some salt may be needed.
Cover the cucumber salad and place the container into the refrigerator for at least three hours. The Motley Monk makes this salad after lunch so that it has all afternoon for its ingredients to get very well-acquainted before serving.
To serve, gently stir the
ingredients and divide into salad bowls. Top with sweet Hungarian paprika.
Like the idea? Here's The Motley Monk's Mom's recipe:
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