Cucumbers in Vinegar ♥

Cucumbers & Radishes in Vinegar
An old-fashioned cucumber salad, just cucumbers and a few pretty-pretty radishes in vinegar seasoned with no more than a little salt. So fresh and summery!

You know how one good deed often begets another? Danielle of Habeas Brulee made my Nana's cucumbers with sour cream, then called up her own grandmother for her cucumber salad recipe -- so for me, there was no not making Danielle's own Ima's cucumbers with vinegar! (Hi, Ima!) Both are simple delights, perfect for a summer table.

I was short on onion so substituted radishes - nice color, yes?! The Benriner (also called a Japanese mandoline) made quick work of slicing though next time I'll set the blade for slightly thicker slices for a texture more like salad and less like pickle. But it's easy-easy to slice cucumbers thin with a sharp knife so a Benriner is definitely optional here.

CUCUMBERS in VINEGAR

See Habeas Brulee's Ima's inspiring recipe
Hands-on time: oops, sorry, lost track, about 20 minutes
Time to table: about 1 3/4 hours
Serves 4

CUCUMBER
1 English cucumber, ends trimmed, sliced thin
6 or so red radishes, ends trimmed, sliced thin
1 tablespoon kosher salt

In a colander, layer the cucumber, radishes and salt. Place in a sink (or in a bowl in the fridge, if you want the cucumber to be really cold) to drain for an hour. Lightly rinse in cold water. Taste -- if it's too salty, rinse again, though you do want some saltiness to come through.

LIQUID
Water and vinegar to cover, about 2:1 water:vinegar
Pinch sugar
Black pepper to taste
Paprika (oops, I forgot this too ...)

Transfer cucumber/radish mixture to a bowl. Add just enough water and vinegar to cover, stir in the sugar and black pepper. Stir and let rest for about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with paprika, serve and enjoy!







A Veggie Venture is home of cucumber lover and 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2007

14 comments:

Woooha Alanna, I've don my cucumbers in vinegar because my mom did it, and it's good and I love it that way.
BUT radishes, now that's really genius.

Beautiful salad, and a perfect excuse to get my beloved Oxo mandoline out of the pantry!

Looks so summery.

How fresh and lovely.

Always on the look out for new ways with radishes.

Thanks!

I love cucumbers this way and make it often. I've never made it with radishes but will definitely try it.

Tanna ~ "Because my Mom did it", I love that line!

Lydia ~ Aha, another mandoline mama!

Kelly ~ For sure!

Lucy ~ Check the radish archives for still more ideas!

Cynthia ~ It's a quick easy add, for sure.

Your version looks great! My Ima would be proud. I can't wait to show her this post.

Cucumbers in vinegar with a sprinkling of sugar and some pepper is a staple in our house, much to my father's dismay (he hates it). My mom and I LOVE it. It's great with spicy food too, to cut the heat a little. :) I love how refreshing your picture looks.

hi Alanna -- i know what kind of olive oil you like (O) but what kind of vinegar would you recommend to for this dish? i'm a new cook and am slowly stocking the pantry
thanks!

Hi Randi ~ That is such a great question. Because I'll tell you, now that I've been turned onto good olive oil and good vinegar, my own question is, How do I stand at a shelf with rowsful of different products and know which one to buy, especially when all these products are getting to be so expensive, rarely under $10, often over $20, even for small bottles. And all the advice people say, Buy from a reputable vendor. But what if the only brand I even recognize is Heinz? And what if I know, from reading, that even expensive vinegars might be more about branding than taste?

So there's a long answer to your question, but it's going to take me a bit to figure out and answer thoroughly and carefully. But yes, it'll become a post here on A Veggie Venture.

But I do have one short and 'easy' answer: the vinegars from O Olive Oil are wonderful too. (No they don't pay me to say this. Yes, they did send me several bottles to sample. Yes, you can trust me to rave only about products I truly find exceptional.)

In fact, it was the vinegars more than anything that impressed my nephew and me when we first sampled them.

I especially love their port vinegar (followed by the zinfandel) but the citrus is the one I pull out most often.

Since these are expensive, please know that this isn't vinegar you'll throw into a pot of stew, nor is it vinegar to pickle with. It's a 'finishing' vinegar, like the good olive oils are 'finishing' oils and good salt like fleur de sel are 'finishing' salts, used sparingly. I still keep 'cheap vinegar' on hand, in fact used some last night in a pasta salad where I knew the other ingredients would overpower the sweet wonderful vinegar. But I used it just now, for lunch, just some chopped tomato and carrot: it was delicious!

Hope this helps. Let me know what you learn, too!

Alanna, thank you so much for your 'answer'! definitely helped loads!! i do understand what you are saying about 'finishing' oils and 'cooking' oils...
let the tasting begin! :)

Alanna, I love the presentation. The equal thickness slices must have been created with that scary looking mandoline, right?

Yes, Kelly, for sure. But don't worry, I've made this same/similar salad for many years with just a plain ol' knife - preferably sharp, which may sound scary too but is actually safer than a dull dull knife because it's less likely to slip. Wish you were having a 'northern' summer. We will, yes, 'talk about you'. :-)

I make a similar salad but use very thinly sliced red onion instead of radishes, and instead of using the sugar/vinegar/spices mixture just use seasoned rice vinegar, right out of the bottle. It's tart and fresh and a little pickle-y, especially after a day or so in the fridge and is a great snack or meal supplement for those times when I'm wanting to eat something but have already "spent" my calories elsewhere.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna