During the summer when I was growing up, there was usually a covered Pyrex bowl of "pickled cukes" in the refrigerator. They were perfect in hot weather, and I would greedily dig out the cucumbers while doing my best to avoid the onions. Nowadays when making a cucumber salad, I have difficulty resisting dill weed, garlic, and other flavors. Still, I decided I wanted the taste I grew up with and mercilessly quizzed my mother on their preparation. The result was as good as I remembered, but I still don't eat the onions!
3-4 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
salt to sprinkle on cucumbers
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 C distilled white vinegar
3/4 C water
1-2 Tbs granulated sugar
Peel the cucumbers. As you are slicing the cukes, place them in a colander in the sink, and sprinkle each layer liberally with salt. Allow the cucumbers to drain for at least half an hour. (I'll even share my secret for paper thin cucumber slices. Run the cucumber across the back of a perfectly clean cheese slicer.)
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a nonporous bowl. After the cucumbers have drained at least thirty minutes, squeeze the remaining moisture out of them with clean, bare hands and add to the bowl.
The conversation about this portion of the recipe went something like this:
"Mom, why do you squeeze them if you just add water back in with the vinegar?"
"To get the bitterness out."
"But cucumbers aren't bitter!"
"You were the one who wanted to know how I make them."
Bitter or not, there was a whole lot of moisture to be squeezed out. The squeezing also removed the majority of the seeds, even though my family isn't too good eat them! Once all the cucumber is squeezed out and then mixed with the other ingredients, the salad is ready to eat. The longer these last in the refrigerator, the better they taste. Generally, they don't last very long at all.This recipe is my entry into the seasonal veggies "Go Ahead, Honey - It's Gluten-Free" blog event being hosted by Rachel of The Crispy Cook.