Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chilled Cucumber Salad

This is a simple salad I remember eating when I was growing up...and my mom remembers eating when she was growing up. On hot summer days, my mom would make what she called a cold dinner, which consisted of corn cobs and new potatoes that she had cooked in the morning and cooled to room temperature, sliced tomatoes sprinkled with sugar, and this chilled cucumber salad.

My mom used to top the salad with sour cream...so instead of that, I used the Silken Tofu, Tahini, and Garlic Dip/Sauce from Vegan Epicurean. This sauce is absolutely perfect, so even if you don't make the salad, you absolutely have to try the sauce. The tofu makes it turn out very smooth, and the balance of flavors is perfect. It's ideal for falafel, salads, dipping, anything you'd fancy tahini sauce with.

To make the salad, thinly slice cucumber and sweet onion...I used cippolino onions... and chill in ice water for 20-30 minutes. I think the ice water part of the recipe is a vestige from the days when veggies were stored in the pantry instead of the fridge...hence, it was a way to chill the salad before serving on a hot summer evening. (My mom grew up in Chicago, where summers are hot.) It's probably not strictly necessary if you store your veggies in the fridge, but I think it does crisp them up a bit...and I like to do it because it's "old-timey". Note: When I originally posted this, I missed a step. After chilling the cucumbers and onion in ice water, pat them dry, arrange on a plate, sprinkle salt and vinegar over them and let them marinate in the fridge. Top with creamy-style sauce and sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.


  1. Rose,

    Your salad looks yummy. Thanks so much for the kind words on the sauce. I am so glad you like it!

    The cucumber salad I grew up with soaked the onions in red wine vinegar and sugar in the refrigerator and then topped the cucumbers and onions with sour cream. Very similar to the one your mom made.

    Did your mom use the corn cobs in the cooking water to flavor the potatoes? Did the cobs still have the corn kernels on them? This idea is new to me, can I get more details?


  2. Oh yes, the corn had kernels...I meant to say corn on the cob.

  3. Rose,

    I was picturing your mom using the corn cobs to flavor the potatoes, like I did with the corn chowder. Although ..... that may just work. I think I see another experiment on the horizon.

    Do you have anything interesting planned for tonight? I have cooking class today so I should come home with an idea or two.


  4. It's hot here today, so may just make a big salad for dinner.

    Have fun in your cooking class.



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