Cucumber Salad

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I grew up with a favorite meal prepared by my father, Otto: Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese breaded sliced veal), wilted cucumber salad, and "dirty potatoes".

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thinly.
  • a small onion, peeled and sliced thinly (optional.)
  • 1/2 red sweet pepper, sliced thinly (optional.)
  • 2 tbs finely chopped fresh dill leaf, or 1 tbs dry dill leaf (optional.)

To slice these thinly, use either a mandoline (we had a three-blade wooden-backed mandoline that was excellent) or simply a potato peeler. When peeling the cucumber, you can leave some peel on to make the edges of the slices flecked with green.

It used to be that cucumbers were bitter, especially the peel. They would be sliced and then salted for an hour or two, then rinsed and squeezed to get rid of the salt and bitterness. Nowadays, due to improved varieties, it is hard to find a bitter cucumber, and this step is unnecessary.

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar (white is fine, I prefer cider vinegar.)
  • 1/4 cup water.
  • 1 tbs sugar.
  • 1/2 tsp or less salt (to taste.)

Mix and dissolve it all, pour over all the other ingredients in a bowl, and let it sit until the rest of the meal is ready.

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