Sweet & Tangy Cucumber Salad

Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad

I think that almost any culture that has cucumbers has some form of this recipe.  When I was surfing the internet to see how everyone else (meaning the rest of the world besides me) made cucumber salad with a vinegar based solution, most of the ones I found were pretty similar.  They varied mainly in the type of vinegar and herbs used.

The cucumber salad that I used to eat in the South was flavored mainly with apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.  I loved it. Honey Bun’s family, however, used white vinegar, water, and a little sugar. I loved that one, too. Consequently, the recipe that I am using here is a combination of both of them.

On the off chance that you are wondering about how I made those fancy scallops on the cucumbers, all I can say is, “It wasn’t me.”  I used Armenian cucumbers and that’s the way they look.  I will, however, take any kudos that you want to toss my way for growing them in my garden.  There are usually four or five or twelve different varieties that I grow each year, but this is the first time that I have grown the Armenian variety.  They were very easy to grow, requiring no more care than any other cucumber.  As a side note, these cucumbers are actually considered to be a member of the melon family rather than the cucumber family.

This is what the cucumbers look like whole. I put a Sharpie marker next to them so that you can get an idea of how big they grow. I may have let one of them get a little too big, but I have to tell you that nothing in my garden is ever allowed to grow past its prime. Ever. Not cucumbers and definitely never zucchini. It would be unthinkable.  Yes siree, I am out there every day cultivating and tending and anticipating the very moment of perfection for each and every vegetable.  You believe me, don’t you?

Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad
There is no need to peel these cucumbers.  For one thing, you would wreck the scallops and for another, the skin is quite tasty…not like chicken, mind you, but a whole lot better than regular cukes with the dark green skin.  Okay, so I have belabored talking about Armenian cucumbers long enough.  It’s way past time to move on.
Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad
Recipe by Terri, adapted from recipes found at Allrecipes.com and my memory
  • 4 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced–This is if you are using standard medium-sized dark green cucumbers.  If you are using a smaller or bigger variety of cucumber then adjust the quantity accordingly.  This is one of those times where you are just going to have to wing it.  You can do it, don’t fret.
  • 1/2 large, sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like things–3/4 cup sugar gives a pleasantly sweet cucumber.  More sugar would be way to sweet, but less sugar would allow a bigger vinegar flavor.  Decisions, decisions.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
Put the cucumbers and onions in a large bowl and toss together.  In a separate bowl, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Whisk together until the sugar and salt have dissolved.  (This goes fairly quickly if you’re a good stirrer.)  Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and onions.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
 Sweet and Tangy Cucumber SaladSweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad
Slice your cucumbers thinly.  If you are using the more standard dark green cucumbers, peel them before slicing.
Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad
Put the cucumbers in a large bowl.  You can see that I have mixed the Armenian cucumbers with some of the more standard varieties of cucumbers.  Remember, the Armenian ones are those with the pretty scalloped edges.
 Sweet and Tangy Cucumber SaladSweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad
Thinly slice the onion and break apart into rings.  Add these to the cucumbers in the bowl and toss together.  Use your paws for this; it’s easier.
Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad
In a separate bowl whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper until the sugar and salt have dissolved.  This is one of those “whisk briskly” times.  Pour the vinegar mixture over the cukes and onions.
Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad
Stir everything so that the vegetables get covered with the vinegar mixture.  The cukes and the onions tend to float somewhat.  This is not really a problem.  They will all get around to swimming in the pool.  Cover and put in the refrigerator for 2+ hours.  When you take this out of the frige, you will see that there seems to be more liquid in the bowl than when you started.  Not to worry, the vegetables will have rendered of some of their juices and will be a little bit softer.  There is still plenty of crunch to them, though.
Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad
Before serving, remove the cucumbers and onions from the vinegar mixture and put them in a separate serving bowl.  Of course, if you are more casual, you can let people fend for themselves and  fish out their own cukes and onions with a slotted spoon.  It will mean one less dish that you have to wash and hey, I am all for one less dish!

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