Cool as a Cucumber: Cucumber Salad
Cucumber Salad

On hot summer days, a refreshing and cool Cucumber Salad is hard to pass up. Thinly sliced, set on ice, and seasoned with a dash of basil, salt and pepper, this easy breezy cucumber salad recipe is sure to be a hit at your table.

Shallots or Vidalia onions make for lovely complements to this Cucumber Salad recipe, and a bath of white balsamic vinegar is the perfect dressing. I sweeten the vinegar with just a spoonful of sugar, and this step actually adds a depth of flavor and volume as well, contrasting the bitter, salty and tangy of the onions, cucumbers and vinegar. If you love onions, go with Vidalias.

If you merely like onions, stick with shallots for a milder flavor -- it's a winner either way. A few leaves of basil, shredded or julienned, add a marvelous dose of flavor that only fresh garden herbs can. The small leaves of African blue basil are ideal, but any good basil will do!

This strikingly beautiful Cucumber Salad recipe has a special place in my heart, for it is one of the first things I ever learned how to prepare. The soft green and cool white of the cucumbers, their opalescence, the ice chips, the crisp onions and sharp vinegar make for a sensual dish -- engaging sight, smell, taste and touch.

Cucumber Salad Recipe

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 5 minutes

    Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Cucumber Salad Recipe Ingredients

    3-4 small cucumbers, sliced "quarter thin"

    1 small Vidalia onion or 2 small shallots

    3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

    Teaspoon of sugar

    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Handful of ice chips

Cucumber Salad Recipe Directions

    Slice the cucumbers into thin discs. Slice onion or shallot into thin pieces or strips. Mix together in a bowl.

    In a saucepan, combine vinegar and sugar and heat over medium flame until sugar dissolves (this can also be done in a microwave).

    Add salt and pepper to taste, and mix. Pour over cucumbers and onion, and add a few ice chips to chill the salad.

    Serve this Cucumber Salad cold and enjoy!

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A Cool Cucumber Salad for the Hottest Days

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