Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cucumber Salad

My husband plants both pickling and slicing cucumber varieties in our garden. When I was a kid growing up on the ranch, I remember only the pickling type being grown. We ate the slightly-too-large-for-dill-pickle-sized ones sliced and covered with a light brine with a few onion rings added. After working in the garden or hay fields it was very refreshing. The really over-sized ones we carved into boats to float down the creek that ran through the barn lot, or we fed them to the pigs and milk cows.

My kids don't work in the garden or hay fields but they do eat the brined, sliced cucumbers of my childhood. They also eat sliced cucumbers -preferably dipped in rice vinegar- like some kids eat potato chips. Every year almost daily throughout cucumber season, we eat LOTS of sliced cucumbers. Until last year, the cucumber slices dipped in rice wine vinegar, and the ranch-style lightly brined cucumber slices were mostly how we ate our garden cucumbers. Last summer, I decided to try this salad recipe and what a revelation! I fell in love with its creamy sweet-sour bite with the flavor of fresh dill over the cool, crisp cucumbers. It is quite shameful, but whenever I make this salad, I usually end up eating practically half of it -I simply can't help myself. Luckily for me, we now have tons of cucumbers and some dill weed growing in our garden and I plan to enjoy eating a lot of cucumber salad for awhile!

Cucumber Salad
Adapted from Danish Food and Cooking by Judith Dern

1/2 c. sour cream (or plain yogurt)
2 T. sugar
1/3 c. white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
3 T. finely minced fresh dill weed

Thinly slice 2-4 large cucumbers into a glass dish. Pour dressing over, mix and chill. It is best when served the same day and goes particularly well with salmon.

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