It’s officially fall. However, Houston did NOT get the memo.
With temps still in the 90’s, most of the cold weather crops need nighttime temps to drop we we can usher in the next season’s crop of vegetables.
I have been trying to fill the co-op boxes with diversity but we are all yearning for some cool weather crops.
I’ve been ordering excess of items like cucumber and green beans to encourage pickling and preserving of summer crops that will be long gone when the weather chills.
This week, we had a TON of cucumbers. With so many pounds of figs, green beans and okra I have to pickle & preserve, the thought of canning pickles makes me slightly crazy.
I remember the first time I tried cucumber salad at my grandma’s house. It was sweet and tangy and delicious. I would drink the juice and I loved the balance of flavor. It was delicious and, at the tender age of 10 years old, I knew I needed the recipe.
So, let me tell you. I have one grandma who wrote down every recipe and had a huge collection. My other grandma did nothing of the sort. Guess which one made the cucumber salad?
So, for years, I’ve tried and failed to make this perfect recipe I grew up eating.
It wasn’t until a weekend trip with friends that my girl, Candice, changed the way I looked at cucumber salad. Cucumbers didn’t have to float in perfectly measured ratios of vinegar and water? Whaaaat?
Last week, I went to NOLA for a work trip and the restaurant where we had lunch offered a cucumber salad so I dove in….to my surprise, my salad emerged much more like Candice’s version than the one of my nostalgic past. And, you know what? I think it’s better!!
So, here is my version. This recipe is simple, quick to prepare and encourages you to adjust the flavors to the preference of you and your household.
Before and After…
I read an interview with culinary rockstar, David Chang. He claimed the number one mistake many home cooks make is not having Mise en Place.
Mise en, what???
Mise en Place is the french term “putting in place.” It refers to the set-up portion of cooking where everything is diced, chopped and sliced prior to the assembly -or- cooking portion of the dish.
It really is a game changer.
To keep a little bit of grandma’s influence in my dish, I used this handy-dandy crinkle cutter. This tool reminds me of being little and helping make copper pennies. (Anyone remember those?)
Well, here it is! I bought mine from Pampered Chef years ago and it’s help up pretty well.
So there you have it. An old-school salad with a bit of a modern twist! What do you think??
Not Your Grandma's Cucumber Salad Recipe
This cumber salad is the perfect summer side.
Mise En Place
- 3 Cucumber, Whole, Thickly Sliced
- 1 Bunch Fresh Dill, Chopped
- 1/2 Thinly sliced white onion
- 1 Clove Garlic, Pressed
- 1 Tomato, Thinly sliced, seeds removed
- 1 TBSP Honey, Local- Raw & Unfiltered More, or less, to taste
- 1 TBSP White Wine Vinegar, good quality More, or less, to taste
- 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Fresh herbs Optional
Press garlic into large bowl.
Add onion and cucumber. Drizzle with EVOO until lightly coated and stir in 1 TSBP White Wine Vinegar.
Add salt to taste, pepper and any other fresh herbs and/ or spices…examples
may include basils, mints, lemon balm, fresh lemon zest or red pepper.
Drizzle in honey and white wine vinegar.
(I start with around
1 tsp honey and add more if your taste desires...just add a little at a time.)
Stir in tomato and take this time to adjust seasonings.
Want more sweetness? Add honey.
Prefer more vinegar? Add it.
Finally, stir in dill (and other desired fresh herbs) and
set in fridge until serving. Add more salt, if needed.
I let marinade for at least 30 minutes.