Goody, a reader request andan excuse to use my favorite kitchen tool--my mandoline--all in one go. In today's "Clare's Kitchen"column in the Times-Dispatch, a reader noticed my reference to cucumber salad and wondered how I make it. This involved a phone call to my father to verify my technique since he's the cucumber salad czar. He reassured me that my instincts were correct. (I think I make this phone call to him annually to verify, by the way. He must think I'm kooky.) Anyway, I think it must be Austrian or Czech or something, but no matter whence it comes, it's refreshing, crunchy, spicy and possibly the perfect thing to make for July 4th.
As for a recipe, I don't think this even qualifies exactly, because it's more done from tinkeringwith it until it tastes right. Trust me, you'll know when you've nailed it.
2 english cucumbers, scored lengthwise with a fork and sliced incredibly thinly or to about 1/16 inch on the mandoline
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 red onion, sliced on the mandoline as above
1/2 cup champagne vinegar (or really any vinegar you have around should be fine)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh dill, diced, or more to taste.
Slice cucumbers and toss with salt, and let drain on paper towel for an hour until quite dry. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and garlic and heat just until boiling, stirring to make sure that the sugar is dissolved. Let cool .
Combine cucumbers with dressing in a bowl tossing well to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour tomarinate. Simple and delicious, and the perfect refreshing thing for a boiling hot day.