Randi’s Cucumber Salad

April 30, 2010 · 17 comments · Print This Post

in Garden / Crafty, Salads, Vegetarian


It definitely feels like summer is right around the corner in New England. In fact I even wore a skirt today. Even though the garment has been kicking around my closet for years now it felt incredibly refreshing to not put on the same revolving array of black outfits I’ve been leaving the house in for the last five chilly months.

I have lots of dreams for this summer involving growing bountiful basil plants and shiny red tomatoes at our apartment. I even purchased Gayla Trail’s new gardening book Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces in preparation for the great gardening experiment of 2010. Hopefully I’ll be able to follow through. Right now I don’t even know when you’re supposed to start putting plants outside in Massachusetts. Are we done having frosts? How big do the containers have to be? Do I need to feed the plants?  I bet it would help if I actually opened that book instead of just leaving it on the coffee table as a living room accessory, right?!

My other big dream is to take a page from one of my favorite blogging heroines, Marisa McClellan, who writes the incredible site Food in Jars. Food in Jars breaks down the perceived intricacies involved in canning and preserving and then presents completely manageable projects that leave you feeling as though you could probably can anything in the world.

At some point I’m hoping to try my hand at putting up some food. I imagine having a shelf of tidy glass jars, pasted with pretty labels, and filled to the brim with tangy and sweet Bread and Butter Pickles to serve at dinner parties this fall. Admittedly, in this fantasy I’m also dressed as Laura Ingalls Wilder and sporting a jaunty pink calico bonnet. I find it helps to create a bit of ambiance when attempting to tackle tasks that are completely out of my comfort zone.

In the meantime, aka until my cucumber-pickle train comes in at the local Farmer’s Market, my friend Randi has shared her delicious Cucumber Salad recipe with me. This ridiculously quick and easy dish is the perfect picnic pairing and the color is so bright and festive that guests will instantly be drawn to it. So plate up a hefty portion beside your freshly grilled burgers and veggies and enjoy the return of the sun.

I suppose I better start researching all of those gardening questions…If you have any sage advice to offer me please feel free to let me know. I predict that it’s going to be an interesting few months.

Randi’s Cucumber Salad

2 English Cucumbers; thinly sliced
1 small red onion; thinly sliced
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Fresh Dill; roughly chopped (approximately 3 tablespoons or to taste)

Bring the vinegar, water, and sugar to a boil in a medium sauce pan, and then pour the liquid over the prepared sliced cucumbers & onions. Sprinkle fresh dill over the top. Cover the dish and let it marinate at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. For best results allow the cucumbers to marinate overnight.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liz Anderson April 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I love a good cucumber salad! I skip the cider vinegar and go straight to seasoned sushi vinegar — it’s less harsh. If you’re watching your salt and sugar, just use the plain sushi vinegar and season accordingly. In David Chang’s cookbook, Momofuko, he details how they make “quick pickles” in his restaurant by the same name. The proceedure is different, but the results delicious.

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2 Hänni April 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Gorgeous salad. I’m not a huge fan of dill, but I love a good cucumber-red onion-poppy seed plate. Yum!

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3 carrie April 30, 2010 at 2:14 pm

yum! (and might I add the new block counters are looking AWESOME as background??? )

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4 Adrienne April 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Ok, bullet points on container gardening:

1. The “final” frost date in Somerville is around the 4th of May, but nobody puts tomatoes or delicate plants (basil, eggplant, peppers) outside until Memorial Day.
2. Things that are easy to grow: mint (keep it in its own container or it will take over the world), sage, thyme, radishes.
3. It’s a bit too late to start from seed (except a couple of things that grow fast; I’m starting cucumbers and zucchini this weekend), so buy seedlings.
4. You do need to feed plants, but only a couple times a season – I do it once when you transplant them from the nursery mini pot to the actual pot you want to grow in. Oh, and you want to buy potting soil, not garden soil.
5. I suggest going to a garden center instead of Home Depot, the staff will be more knowledeable.
6. Get a copy of The Bountiful Container in addition to Grow Great Grub. It’s amazing. I’d lend you my copy but I reference it constantly.

Container gardening is SO rewarding. I hope you enjoy it!

PS, you can totally email me if you have any questions 🙂

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5 anna April 30, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I just emailed this to Barrett so we can eat it next time we have dinner together 🙂

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6 denannada April 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm

YEAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! you are back.

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7 Randi April 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I don’t even like cucumbers, but I kind of want to make this just because, like your friend, my name is also Randi! 🙂 That is a very pretty salad! I also have similar aspirations for apartment growing this year, so good luck!

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8 Marisa April 30, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Aww, Erin! I’m so touched that I’m one of your blogging heroines! And just so you know, I have complete confidence in your future pickle-making abilities. I just know that you can do it!

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9 tasteofbeirut May 4, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Hello
Love this cucumber salad! So refreshing in the summer! I love canning and recently made a quick strawberry jam with agar-agar; much better than the classic method.

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10 Mags May 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Perfect cucumber salad. This goes so well with any meal… so light and refreshing!

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11 Img May 12, 2010 at 4:08 pm

1. The “final” frost date in Somerville is around the 4th of May, but nobody puts tomatoes or delicate plants (basil, eggplant, peppers) outside until Memorial Day.2. Things that are easy to grow: mint (keep it in its own container or it will take over the world), sage, thyme, radishes.3. It’s a bit too late to start from seed (except a couple of things that grow fast; I’m starting cucumbers and zucchini this weekend), so buy seedlings.4. You do need to feed plants, but only a couple times a season – I do it once when you transplant them from the nursery mini pot to the actual pot you want to grow in. Oh, and you want to buy potting soil, not garden soil.5. I suggest going to a garden center instead of Home Depot, the staff will be more knowledeable.6. Get a copy of The Bountiful Container in addition to Grow Great Grub. It’s amazing. I’d lend you my copy but I reference it constantly.
+1

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12 Courtney Tyler May 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I love the taste of vinegar! I will have to try this because I’ve made something similar but without the sugar.

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13 Jenious June 2, 2010 at 10:17 am

Oh, how I miss watching (and reading) Little House…I adore English Cucumbers and look forward to making this salad for summery work lunches.

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14 Sandi August 20, 2010 at 10:58 pm

This sounds so similar to the salad I made this morning! Only difference was I used celery seed instead of dill for seasoning.

I posted two of my favorite cucmber salad recipes up on my website this morning (and the German-style Cucumber Salad is in my fridge right now!).

http://dinnerwithsandi.blogspot.com/2010/08/cucumber-salad.html

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