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Cucumber Salad Recipe

These simple cucumber salad recipes often accompany a summer barbecue in France. The crunchy fresh taste of cucumbers, whether in a creamy sauce or a tart vinager dressing, makes the perfect contrast to grilled meats.

cucumber salad
Salade concombres vinaigre
Cucumbers can vary considerably in flavor and seediness. Long, slender English cucumbers are mild tasting and have the advantage of containing a minimal amount of seeds. The more stumpy garden cucumber has a thick skin, a considerable core of seeds, and, although more flavorful, may also be slightly bitter. If you're not sure what kind you have, learn more about cucumber types here.

If you use English cucumbers for this recipe, you can leave the peel on and it is unnecessary to remove the core of seeds. You can use a lemon zester to carve groves in the cucumber before slicing it. You'll get a pretty pattern as in the picture above.

If you use garden cucumbers for this recipe, be sure to peel and core them. To remove the core, slice the peeled cucumber in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape away the seeds. You can than slice them as described in the recipe.

You may also wish to remove some of the bitter taste of the garden cucumber. To do this, toss the sliced cucumbers with several pinches of coarse salt and leave them in a colander for 1 hour to drain (place a bowl or plate underneath the colander to catch the liquid). After one hour, rinse the slices with cold running water to remove the salt.

Here are two variations on the cucumber salad recipe. Either one of these recipes can be jazzed up with a tablespoon or two of fresh chopped herbs. Try cilantro, mint, chives, or basil.

Salade de concombres à la crème fraîche
Creamy Cucumber Salad

Prep time: 20 min

Makes 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 cup crème fraîche (or substitute Greek style yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper

Directions

  1. Slice the cucumbers in 1/8 inch slices (a food processor is great for this). If you are using garden cucumbers, you will want to peel them and remove the seeds before slicing.
  2. Place the cucumber slices in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, crème fraîche or yogurt, and salt and pepper. Serve cold.

Salade concombres vinaigre
Cucumber, Onion, and Vinegar Salad

Prep time: 15 min

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped very finely
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Slice the cucumbers in 1/8 inch slices (a food processor is great for this). If you are using garden cucumbers, you will want to peel them and remove the seeds before slicing.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the onions, vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Place the cucumber slices in a serving bowl, and toss with the dressing. You can leave this to marinate several hours in the refrigerator.

Return to Easy Salad Recipes.

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