Thursday, August 9, 2012

Simple Cucumber Salad #CookforJulia

It simply does NOT get any simpler or more frugal than a cucumber salad with dill in the heat of the August sun.  The other day when the kids and I stopped by a roadside stand to buy some tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash for our ratatouille, the farmer also had cucumbers listed at 6 for $1.  And they were decent-sized...not too small and not so big that were tough and woody.  So obviously I couldn't resist.  Six into my satchel.  And it bears mention that for these six cukes (of which I only used two here) plus the other veggies I brought home (of which only the tomatoes are entirely gone), I only paid a grand total of $3.  Oh yeah, and he threw in a handful of fresh dill for free.  There's a reason I look forward to this stand opening every summer!

So as I surveyed my bounty spread out on the kitchen table upon returning home, I knew I had to find something to #CookforJulia that included cucumbers for my next endeavor.  Fortunately, of the three cookbooks I have left to cook from, two contained cucumber recipes.  And the third is Baking with Julia...so I baked a loaf of bread today, as well - that's coming up in the next day or so.
And I suppose I'm really stretching it when I say "cook" with Julia.  It falls more into the category of #AssembleSomethingForJulia, but hey.  Nothing wrong with the quickies!  Most people make some version of this cooling summer salad.  And in my book, the more vinegar the better.  I also choose to cut my cukes in thicker chunks than some, just because I DO add so much vinegar that I like them to hold up.

You could peel your cucumbers, if you like.  I like to leave mine on, especially if I know where they were grown.  To make these fun, I just ran a zester (the kind with the holey things side-by-side) down the cucumber in an uneven fashion.  I'd like to say it's simply because the kids love it that way...but honestly, so do I.

Simple Cucumber Salad

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 15-30 minutes, mostly unattend
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: salad side vegan cucumber summer

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • ½-1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar (use less or more, to taste)
  • fresh dill
Instructions
Peel the cucumber, if you wish. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds (or leave them in...again, up to you). Cut into thin (or thick) slices and toss with salt, sugar, and vinegar. Let steep for 15-20 minutes (or longer) and then drain (or don't).

Toss with as much chopped fresh dill as you like. Enjoy!

note:
Uh...yeah. It's just that simple. Adjust anything and everything from amounts to times according to your tastes. Eat as a side dish, a garnish, or a salad.

adapted from Julia's Kitchen Wisdom
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To make the patterns in the skin, I used a 5-hole citrus zester at random intervals before slicing.  This is mine ----------------------->

You can find similar ones on Amazon (average price of $5).

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