cucumber salad

Cucumber Salad

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
  • Salt
  • 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.



  1. Forgot to tell you I made this one a couple days ago and we loved it! I wanted to make a double recipe but didn’t have a second cucumber, so I used a zucchini instead. Turned out better than anticipated. Sounds like I’ll have to make it again. 🙂


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