Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fresh From the Farmer's Market: Old-Fashioned Cucumber Salad

We've been getting a LOT of cucumbers from our CSA lately.  And even a really big lettuce salad only needs about half of a cucumber.  Some people make pickles with their cucumbers, but I didn't have time to try that this year...maybe next year!  Instead, I've made a couple batches of this fresh-tasting cucumber salad.  The vinegar in the dressing gives it a little kick, balancing out the cucumbers perfectly.

2 large cucumbers, sliced thin
salt, to taste (1/2 - 1 tsp)
1 tomato, sliced thin, each slice cut into quarters
1/4 - 1/2 of a medium onion, sliced thin, each slice cut in half
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp cornstarch, stirred into 1 Tbsp of water
1/4 C vinegar
3 Tbsp water
1/3 c mayonnaise

Salt the sliced cucumbers and toss gently.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Meanwhile, beat together the egg and cornstarch/water mixture and set aside.  (It's OK if the cornstarch isn't perfectly dissolved...just do the best you can).  Boil vinegar and 3 Tbsp water.  Remove from heat.  Sllloooowwly add the egg/cornstarch mixture into the vinegar/water mixture, wisking quickly as you pour it in.  (You might end up with a few bits of scrambled egg, but once everything is mixed together you won't notice those bits.)  Return pan to stovetop and heat sloooooowwwwly to boiling, continually wisking the mixture.  The mixture should start to look foamy.  Boil for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.  Cool, then wisk in the mayonnaise.  Drain cucumbers.  Toss with tomato, onion, and dressing.  Refrigerate until serving.

Options and Tips:
  • As you can see in the picture, I peel strips the length of the cucumber so that it looks striped.  This is partly for aesthetic value, and partly to make the cucumber slices easier to chew.
  • Be patient while you make the dressing!  If you rush the mixing and boiling, you'll end up with big chunks.  However, don't worry if you end up with a few small chunks...they'll mix up with the veggies and go unnoticed.
This recipe came from Tamara Kalsbeek, many years ago.  She said it came from her grandma.

1 comment:

  1. yum this looks so good, i just drooled...a bit..slurp