Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cucumber salad #5.

Cukes and onions. © Ryan Schierling

We're just going to all agree to call this a "salad." Okay? It's a side, it's a snack, it's stupid simple, and if you don't have a family recipe that is virtually identical, then you should adopt this one at once.

Cucumbers seem to have a natural inclination to be pickled, and on day five of "cucumber salad week" here at FGHD, we're accommodating them. Plus, I get to finally admit that when served raw and plain I'm mostly ambivalent about cukes. They really do have a wonderful flavor, but naked and alone they have a twinge of bland and bitter. However, pair them with vinegar (or lemon juice) and salt they are transformed – voil√†! – a thing of elementary elegance.

This post isn't for pickles, but it is a about as close as you can get in 30 minutes or less with a refreshingly pleasant, puckering cucumber slice to show for it. Use the cukes and onions on a salad, or plate a few slices as a side. Around here, though, we've usually managed to pluck all of them out of their icy bath as a crunchy snack before dinner is even served. 

Cucumbers and red onions on the rocks

1 cucumber, peeled in stripes and sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1 teaspoon salt
10 ice cubes
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup white vinegar

Put cucumber and onions in a one quart bowl Add ice cubes, then water and white vinegar and salt. Give a quick stir and stick it in the fridge, or just let it sit on the counter, and chill for about 15-30 minutes.

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