Cucumber is a refreshing, light vegetable that is enjoyed all over the world. In England crustless cucumber sandwiches are a staple of afternoon tea, while Indian cuisine often uses cucumber and yogurt to make a light salad. In Greece cucumber is also grated into tsatsiki sauce and served with grilled chicken or pork. Here is a refreshing cucumber salad where cucumber is the star instead of merely a supporting actor. I use red wine vinegar, honey and dill for the dressing as a nice change of pace from the yogurt or cream-based cucumber salad dressings. When you are making a dressing or marinade that contains vinegar, be sure to use a glass or ceramic bowl as they are acid resistant. Serve this as a side salad with barbecue pork or chicken, or as a starter to a light summer lunch.
1 cup of water
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 large unpeeled cucumbers
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill
Fresh dill sprigs to garnish
Use a large glass bowl to mix water, vinegar, honey and salt. Slice the cucumbers as thinly as possible – use a mandolin if you have one. Add the cucumbers, red onion and chopped dill to the vinegar and honey marinade. Toss gently so that the cucumber and onions are well coated. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for the flavors to mix and mellow. If you are keeping the bowl out at room temperature let it stand for an hour, or refrigerate for up to four hours. The longer it sits the more the cucumber will become infused with the flavors of the herbs, onions and marinade. Just prior to serving, toss again, and serve with a slotted spoon. This recipe can be prepared ahead of time up by slicing the cucumbers and onions and storing them together in the fridge. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and chill in a glass jar in the fridge. Remove everything and mix it together an hour before you are going to serve (let it sit out while you prepare the rest of your meal).
For a Thai Cucumber Salad replace dill with fresh cilantro. Optional garnishes include finely chopped chives, capers, or mint.
This recipe makes 6 servings with just 26 calories each. There are 6 carbs, 1 gram of protein, 143 grams of sodium, 1 gram of fat and no cholesterol per serving.