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.
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