Cucumbers, those ancient vegetables from India, have traveled around the world during their 3,000 year history. Most cucumbers are long, cylindrical, and green, but some are even round and yellow. Cucumbers fall into three main categories. These are the slicing, pickling, and English varieties.
Slicing cucumbers are long and stocky. Many of them have thick skins. At maturity they may have pronounced seeds in a center tissue that is liquid filled. Some recipes call for removing the center and seeds of mature slicing cucumbers. These cucumbers often need to be peeled, especially if the peels are bitter or have been coated with wax.
Pickling cucumbers are smaller and have a uniform size from top to bottom. Their seeds tend to be small and the cucumbers are firm. These cucumbers may be used for purposes other than pickling. Because of their small size, firmness, and delicate seeds, they make excellent cucumbers to slice into mixed green salads. Unless the skin is bitter, they do not need to be peeled. Be sure to wash them thoroughly.
English cucumbers are also known as burpless cucumbers. Many people think that they are easier to digest than their slicing or pickling varieties. These cucumbers are not waxed, as sellers tend to wrap them in plastic. They are slender and range from as short as pickling cucumbers to about two feet long.
While cucumbers are mainly water, they make a wonderful and refreshing salad. I especially enjoy the pickling cucumbers or English cucumbers. Usually, the English cucumbers are significantly more expensive than either the slicing or pickling cucumbers. However, when I can get a deal on them, they are my first choice.
Cucumber Onion and Dill Salad Recipe
2 cups thinly sliced (1/8 inch)English cucumbers (Pickling cucumbers may be substituted.)
1 cup thinly sliced (1/8 inch) Vidalia onions (Use another sweet onion, if a Vidalia is not available.)
½ teaspoons of dried dill weed (Rub it between your hands to release the oils.)
½ cup rice wine or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon Lawry’s Season Salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl add the sliced cucumbers and sliced onions. Rub the dill over the cucumbers and onions.
In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, seasoned salt and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the olive oil to the vinegar mixture. Pour the liquid over the vegetables. Use two forks or spoons to gently toss the salad until the vegetables are covered with the dressing. Refrigerate the salad for at least an hour to allow the flavors to mix.
Ham or chicken salad goes well with this salad. So does Microwave Jalapeno Cheddar Roll Chicken Sandwich. Eat Cucumber Onion and Dill Salad with any sandwich that you enjoy.