In July we find ourselves with an abundance of cucumbers. This is the only time of year we get to enjoy creamy cucumber salad. And we will have it in the fridge available at all times for the next month!
Cucumbers have not received as much press as other vegetables in terms of health benefits, but this widely cultivated food provides us with a unique combination of nutrients. At the top of the phytonutrient list for cucumbers are its cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids. These three types of phytonutrients found in cucumbers provide us with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits.
To peel or not to peel. First, it is important to remember that the skins and seeds of cucumbers are both rich in nutrients. In fact, the nutrient richness of both plant parts is significantly higher than the flesh. For this reason, consumption of both skins and seeds is desirable from a nutritional standpoint. If you’re buying from a grocery store, both conventionally grown and organically grown cucumbers may have been waxed. However, the only waxes that can be used on organically grown cucumbers are non-synthetic waxes, and these waxes must be free of all chemical contaminants that are prohibited under organic regulations. Conventionally grown cucumbers may be waxed with synthetic waxes that contain unwanted chemical contaminants. For these reasons, we recommend leaving the skin of organically grown cucumbers intact regardless of whether the organically grown cucumber has been waxed. For conventionally grown cucumbers, we recommend removal of the waxed skin.
We Grow cucumbers are not waxed and should be used within three days for maximum freshness and flavor.
This recipe can be made your own by choosing your favorite variety of vinegar. In our house, we usually do half rice vinegar and half white vinegar, but tarragon and cider vinegar will also work. Play around with what’s available and make it your own. The key to getting a thick creamy salad is to get as much moisture out of the cukes as possible before combining the final ingredients. If you don’t have time and wish to eat the salad immediately, you can skip the salting and refrigeration step intended to do this.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
- 4 – 5 slicing cucumbers
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sour cream or plain greek yougurt (make your own yogurt)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon dill weed
Slice cucumbers into bowl and mix with salt. Place in colander in a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight to draw the water out of the cucumbers.
Combine sour cream, sugar, vinegar, and pepper. Drain cucumbers well and try to get as much moisture as you can out of the sliced cucumbers. Do NOT rinse. Combine cucumbers and sauce and add onion and dill weed. Serve chilled.