This Week’s Menu: Cucumber Salads

Cucumber & Dill Salad – I love the look of red onion with the cucumbers.

If you’ve been reading our weekly menus for a while, you’ve probably noticed that cucumbers show up A LOT, either on their own or in salads. Not only are they one of our favorite vegetables, but the cucumbers we buy at the farmers’ market are unlike any we’ve eaten elsewhere. They’re always sweet (you can eat the peel), crispy, and very, very delicious. We usually buy at least three cucumbers every week at the market, and they’re available year-round.

Sometimes all I do is cut them up and we have them plain with dinner, but other times I’ll make them into a salad. The easiest salad to pull together is one we call Japanese Cucumber Salad. Sliced cucumbers are tossed with thinly sliced onion, rice vinegar, a little dark sesame oil, salt, pepper and allowed to marinate for at least a half hour before eating.

Japanese cucumbers are the variety most often found at the farmers’ market.

Another favorite salad along this theme is this one from Mavis at 100 Dollars A Month: Cucumber and Dill Salad. This is another easy salad to whip up before dinner and goes well with savory foods, grilled chicken or sausage. There’s usually none of this left over, but I made it once when our son was visiting and his comment was that I had ruined a perfectly good bowl of cucumbers with the addition of the dill (not his favorite flavor). Wilted Cucumber Salad is another favorite, and has a tangy sweet & sour taste, but it needs to be prepared earlier in the day if we’re going to have it with our dinner because the pickles not only need to wilt but have time to chill. These cucumbers basically become pickles, and besides eating them as a salad, we also like to tuck them into sandwiches. I actually use the recipe from Molly Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook, but the one I’ve linked to is very close (and without the dill).

One salad we’re not eating these days is cucumbers mixed with sour cream, a little vinegar and salt & pepper. It’s one of my all-time favorites, but with Brett allergic to dairy, and YaYu lactose intolerant, sour cream doesn’t come into the house any more.

Anyway, here’s what we’re having this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Grilled cheeseburgers; onion rings (sadly no roll or onion rings for me)
  • Wednesday: Grilled chicken & vegetable kabobs; pilaf (I’m skipping the pilaf)
  • Thursday: Asian-flavored pulled pork sandwiches; cucumbers (no sandwich roll for me)
  • Friday: Leftovers for Brett and me (YaYu will be at the team spaghetti dinner, carbing up)
  • Saturday: Grilled Polish sausages; roasted cabbage; cucumber & dill salad
  • Sunday: Scotch eggs; fruit; toast for Brett & YaYu
  • Monday: Noodles with pork sauce; cucumbers (zoodles for me)

Cucumbers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and ginger are the only ‘must buys’ at the farmers’ market this week; otherwise, we’ll buy whatever looks good!

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2 thoughts on “This Week’s Menu: Cucumber Salads

  1. Hawaii Planner says:

    The one food I consistently buy the most of is . . . cucumber. It’s Nick’s all time, never fails, favorite food. He eats it plain, sprinkled with a little salt. He also loves it with hummus. We buy the mini (Persian) cucumbers when I can get them at the produce stand. We probably go through 15 mini cucumbers & 6 English cucumbers a week! It’s a definite chunk of our grocery budget. 😉 Sadly, he’s not a fan of things mixed together (still – at 10!), so no cucumbers salad for us.

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    • Laura says:

      Your son sounds a lot like ours – just plain, thank you, when it comes to cucumbers. I think he ate them almost daily when he was young. He told us once he didn’t like “flavor,” which is why I guess Japanese food agrees with him – no “strong” flavors or spices.

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