My mother-in-law, Betty Zalmanek, is famous for her cucumber salad. Her kids ask her to bring it to every family gathering.
Whether or not you peel the cucumbers is a matter of personal preference, and perhaps what kind of cucumbers you use. English cucumbers — the ones that come wrapped in plastic with a label indicating that it was grown in Mexico — have thinner skins and don’t need to be peeled. Regular cucumbers, also called slicing cucumbers, are shorter, fatter, and have thicker skins. When I use regular cucumbers, I prefer peeling them for the texture and taste.
Cucumber salad is one of those recipes that justifies a specialized kitchen utensil. With a mandoline slicer, the cucumber slices will be thin and uniform. If you don’t have one, you can still make this salad using a sharp knife (and some patience).
Active time: 10 minutes Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Specialized Kitchen Utensils
Mandoline slicer (or a sharp knife and some patience)
Serves: 2 to 4
- 1 regular or English cucumber, peeled (see note above) and sliced thin
- 1/2 white onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Salt the cucumbers and set aside for 1 to 2 hours. Rinse cucumbers with cool water and drain. Add the sliced white onion.
Mix remaining ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and onions and stir to combine.