Cucumber salad is a quick, easy, and refreshing side dish that goes well with any kind of dish. It’s perfect for summertime, as it’s a light and cool side dish, but also great for wintertime when paired with roast pork and salmon dishes.
With vinegar, salt, and sugar, you can easily whip up this famous side dish and have a nutritious and flavorful salad with your main dish.
Cucumber Salad as a Popular American Side Dish
Contrary to popular belief, cucumber salad did not originate in the South. Actually, cucumber salad is from German cuisine. They call it Gurkensalat, and it made its way to Southern America through German immigrants and has become a staple in many Southern dishes.
A total classic, there are many variations to the cucumber salad such as those made with creamy sauce but the most popular is hands down, the original salad made with white vinegar, salt, and sugar.
In this recipe, we’ll make it as simple as people so you won’t need a lot of ingredients to prepare this salad. Prep time is also fast, at only 10 minutes, while the dressing can be made prior to making the salad, or even the day before. Our recipe has German roots, which require the dressing to be cooked to add that scrumptious and delicious flavor to our cucumber salad.
Cucumber Salad Ingredients
- 2 English cucumbers, or seedless cucumbers
- 1 red onion
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp fresh dill, optional
Cucumber Salad Recipe
In a saucepan, make your dressing by pouring white vinegar over high heat. Add water, and stir in sugar until fully liquidized. Cook until the dressing is clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
1. Thinly slice your cucumbers and onion. Season with salt and set aside for 1 hour. This is the sweating method of cucumber, where the water content of the vegetable is drawn out. This is to prevent excess liquid in your salad since cucumber has a high level of water content.
2. After 1 hour, place the cucumbers and red onion in a large bowl and pour over the dressing. Toss, and add the optional dill for more flavor. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. You can serve it cold or at room temperature, depending on your preference.
This salad is not only delicious and refreshing but it packs a punch when it comes to nutrients. It has potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Plus, it offers a cool and light flair to a rich and hearty dish such as pot roast, grilled burger, or steak.
Cucumber salad is easy to make, using fresh and simple ingredients that add flavor and nutritious addition to your dishes. It pairs well with most dishes, whether it’s seafood, steaks, or grilled meats. A popular Southern side dish with German roots, cucumber salad is a known crowd-pleaser, and everyone will love its healthy and light kick to any lunch, dinner, or outdoor BBQ.