Cucumber Salad

  • This recipe comes from The Art of Jewish Cooking by Jennie Grossinger.
  • My mom used to make this salad most every summer. Momma often served it with fried fish. I believe she used white vinegar, so I wonder if she used a similar recipe from another cookbook.
  • I changed a few things: switched the pepper to cayenne, and left out the scallions. The vinegar seems too strong to me; I might increase the water from 2 tablespoons to 3 next time. I used salad cucumbers, which were not waxed, so I did not peel them. I prefer the milder flavor of kosher salt for this recipe.
  • Serves 4-6. 

3 cucumbers (I used 6 small cukes)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cold water (3 tablespoons might be better)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or black pepper
2 scallions thinly sliced (optional)

First layer of cuke slices
  • Wash the cucumbers; use a vegetable brush if you have one. If the cukes are waxed, peel them. Slice them very thin. 

  • Layer the cuke slices in a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt between the layers.

Jars, wax paper, cukes, saucer
  • Put a saucer under the colander. Put wax paper over the salted cukes. Weigh them down with something heavy such as cans or jars of food. Set aside for 20 minutes for the juices to drain. Click photo for a closer look.

  • Mix the vinegar, water, sugar, and pepper (or cayenne).

  • When the cukes are done draining, press them to remove additional juice. I rinsed them with water (a step that some purists might abhor) to remove some of the salt . . . and then pressed them to remove the water.

  • Add the cukes to the vinegar mixture. Chill 2 hours and serve.

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