Tangy Cucumber Salad
Cucumbers! Napa cabbage! Sweet new onions! Crunchy, cooling produce is abundant just in time for the heat, and Summer is indeed the perfect time for this simple, sweet and tangy salad. This is a great side dish for fish, chicken or even grilled steak, and you can easily double it up for a crowd. If you can’t find uncured onions at your farmers market or CSA, seek out a sweeter variety of white onion.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 1.5 lbs cucumbers (see tip below)
- 1/2 of a small Napa cabbage, about 1/2 lb
- 1 medium carrot (optional)
- 1 medium fresh onion (red or white) or 1 medium sweet onion
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup neutral oil (avocado, sunflower)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo or Marash pepper (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Handful of any tender herbs (cilantro, mint, basil, chervil, dill or a mix thereof)
- Halve and peel the onion. Lay halves cut side down, and slice off the little core holding the layers together. Thinly slice the onion top-to-bottom and place in a medium bowl.
- To that bowl add: the vinegars, oil, maple syrup or honey, salt and Aleppo pepper. No need to stir, just set aside to macerate.
- Meanwhile, prep and cut the cucumber into 1/4 inch slices. Thinly slice the carrot and cabbage.
- Stir onion mixture and add sliced vegetables and herbs. Toss, and season to taste with salt.
If using seasoned rice wine vinegar, you may not need to add any salt, so just taste before adding any additional seasoning.
Salad can sit for 2-3 days, and will soften a bit over time. It’s great to batch for weekday lunches with leftover chicken or shrimp.
Tools & Tips
For thicker-skinned varieties of cucumber, I like to stripe and seed the cucumbers. To do so, just run a sharp peeler lengthwise along the skin about 4 times to create stripes along the flesh. This keep some of the nutrition and fiber of the skin, while making it a little easier to eat. To seed, just halve lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. For aesthetics alone, I like to slice the cucumbers on a bias or angle, but you can cut them however you please! Thinner the slices, the softer they will get when marinating.