Superbly svelte summer cucumber salad

by SARA on July 24, 2011

Greetings from way up North…for those of you newer to the blog, my mother’s family is from Scandinavia, so once a year I make a Great Migration to visit the relatives in Sweden and Norway.

All to say, as I’m writing this I couldn’t be deeper seeped in those amazing “coming home” tastes and sensations: You’ve missed everything. But what happens that I especially love is that because you’ve been away so long, the best bits rise to the surface.

On that note, I’m going to reprieve one on my absolute, absolute favorite dishes. (I think I posted this our first year on the blog!) It’s a cold cucumber salad that’s incredibly easy, and perfect for picnics and BBQs. It’s especially good as my relatives always serve it, with grilled salmon. Round the meal off with a tossed salad, tiny new potatoes, and a bowl of strawberries for dessert and you’re fully Scandic-indoctrinated. Read on for the how-tos.

Summer Cucumber Salad
1 medium English cucumber
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar (This is, indeed, a lot. But a huge portion of the marinade stays in the bowl, so not even close to all of it gets eaten.)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peel the cucumber and slice it very very thinly (certain kinds of cheese slicers work especially well here). Place the slices in a bowl.

Mix the remaining ingredients. Let them stand for 10 minutes, then pour over the cucumbers and mix well. Marinate the salad in the refrigerator. (The original recipe says three hours. Given that my relatives have been known to “serve immediately,” I think you’d be good with however much time you’ve got.)

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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic July 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Mmmmm I love cucumber salads. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

SARA July 25, 2011 at 3:23 am

You’re welcome, Bianca! & thanks!! I’m here surrounded by delectable (& heavy) pastries, so am finding that by day’s salads are doubly refreshing.

Lauren Slayton August 3, 2011 at 7:52 am

Sounds great. My MIL is Swedish and we’ve had many salmon/cucumber/potato meals. Great summer side dish. Enjoy your trip.

SARA August 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Thanks, Lauren! I had no idea you had sSwedish connections. We’ll have to turn that drink we keep talking about into a “fika.”

Pelle August 25, 2011 at 11:22 am

I love this recipe. The only difference between this and what my Danish grandmother used to make is a pinch of black pepper. My favorite dish for this which takes me right back to my grandparents farm is whole chicken roasted in a dutch oven with of course tiny new potatoes and delicious chicken gravy and everyone fighting for the cucumber salad.

SARA August 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm

…and now my mouth is watering! Loved reading this, Pelle (and can absolutely attest to the perfection of the Chicken/new potato scenario). Will have to add pepper next time, too.

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