Cucumber season is nearly upon us. Those people who grow them are desperately trying to can them and foist them off, and the rest of us who can’t say no have a growing stock pile in the fridge. Yes, sliced cucumbers are great, but we need some variety. Here are two of my favorites. The neat thing is that both recipes begin with the same steps and ingredients, so you might make them both at the same time.
Sour Creamy, Dilly Cuke Salad
This one my mother-in-law serves, and I always take seconds or thirds. She uses yogurt, but I use sour cream. Same diff. I also add dill.
3-4 cucumbers–I prefer the long, skinny seedless kind
2/3 cups sour cream–using light or fat free is fine
Several rings of red onion
1 tsp seasoned white rice vinegar or Sushi vinegar. This has a splash of sugar, which is nice.
2 pinches fresh dill (I would not use dried, but that is me)
freshly ground pepper
Peel and slice the cukes and layer them in a bowl. Slice onions, roughly the same width as cucumber slices. Add salt enough to cover them. Let sit for at least an hour so the salt releases the water from the cucumbers. Rinse well and drain. Return to bowl. Add vinegar, pepper, sour cream, and dill. Stir until the sour cream covers everything and there are no clumps.
This one takes me back to my childhood. Summer afternoons would often include a tub of salted cucumbers and onions sitting on the counter, getting juicy. I would walk by and take a dip. These were my mom’s favorite, a true sign of summer and a reminder of her own childhood. We pulled the tub out with almost every meal until they were gone, and then she’d make another batch. I especially loved to eat them beside freshly sliced tomatoes, so the juices would run together.
4 cukes–I like to use the long, skinny seedless variety
1/2 onion–red or white. My mom used white, and I like the red. Your choice
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Peel and slice the cukes and layer them in a bowl. Slice onions, roughly the same width as cucumber slices. Add salt enough to cover them. Let sit for at least an hour so the salt releases the water from the cucumbers. Rinse well and drain. Return to bowl. Add water and sugar and stir. Let sit for at least an hour. The theory is that they get better the longer they last, but they don’t last long. I like this salad very fresh while the cukes still have a lot of crunch.