Do you like cucumber salad? No? See ya later. Yes? You can stay. Isn’t it a fantastic and delicious way to elevate the ubiquitious cucumber? You can get something fresh and bright into your mouth really fast with this easy to make salad.
Usually I just make cucumber salad during the Jewish holidays. It goes really well with our traditional appetizer, gefilte fish. But the other day, cucumbers were huge and on special. And so I was inspired to go off plan and make a batch. My family was very confused, but it didn’t stop them from gobbling it down.
While I really like cucumbers, I LOVE cucumber salad. There’s just something delicious about it. Similarly to tomatoes and bruschetta, when you marinate cucumbers in a lovely vinaigrette something special happens to them. This particular recipe is my very own secret creation and if I don’t say so myself, very popular with the peoples who eat it.
I hope you love it as much as we do!
What You’ll Need (for about 8 generous servings):
3 large english cucumbers, washed, not peeled
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 red pepper, cored and large diced
Salt for draining cucumbers
For the herb vinaigrette:
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp (or to taste) sea salt and freshly ground pepper
What You’ll Do:
- To slice the cucumbers, use either the thin slicing blade on a food processor or the slicing attachment on a mandolin (which I use now because I broke my processor after 20 years of a great partnership). If you’re using a food processor, cut off both ends of the cucumber. If using the mandolin, just cut off one end. That way you won’t be making skin salad.
- Place all of the sliced cucumbers in a large sieve or colander. Generously sprinkle them with salt and toss them around. Put the colander over a large bowl or in the sink, and then place something on top to weigh the cucumbers down. Let them rest at least 30 minutes, but preferably 1 hour, to pull some of the moisture out. This will ensure that as the salad marinates it doesn’t get too watery.
- Herb vinaigrette: While the cucumbers are sitting, make the marinade by combining all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender, mini-chopper, or magic bullet. Process until combined (it will look a bit creamy, but it’s not.) Taste, and adjust for seasonings. It should be a bit salty and vinegary.
- When it’s time, rinse the cucumbers to get most of the salt off. Push them into the colander to drain the water out.
- Place the cucumbers in a large bowl or if you’re not eating immediately, large tupperware-y container. Add the red peppers and the onions. Add about half the dressing and mix to coat. Don’t put too much dressing on as there will still be moisture released from the cucumbers. However, if you want to, taste and add a little more. Reserve the rest of the dressing for another time.
- Let marinate in the fridge at least 20 minutes. The salad will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
Serve with just about anything as a side dish. Or a snack. Because it’s so good, you’ll want to eat it all the time.