Friday, February 18, 2011

Dutch Cucumber Salad

When I was growing up we had a birthday tradition, you get to pick your birthday meal. Mine always consisted of some kind of red meat, either steak or cubed steak,  it also included either cheese covered broccoli or cheese covered cauliflower, my dad's mashed potatoes and my Oma's cucumber salad. I rarely make cheese covered broccoli or cauliflower because my kids will eat it plain, which is so much healthier and I have my own mashed potato recipe, but I still crave my Oma's cucumber salad. This is one of the recipes that defines my childhood, I remember having it for every dinner my Oma served and it seemed to be on a regular rotation for my mother's meals also. I started making it right after I got married and my husband and kids love it. It's super easy and has a distinct flavor. My Oma immigrated from Holland with her husband and 4 children after WWll, I never asked her if this is a Dutch recipe, but we consider it one in our home. 

3 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 TBSP Sea Salt
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper, maybe more if you like it peppery

Peel and thinly slice cucumbers and place them spread out on a dinner plate. I use a food slicer or sometimes a cheese slicer to slice my cucumbers evenly. Liberally sprinkle sea salt on top of sliced cucumbers, let sit on counter for at least 2 hours. After sitting in the salt take one handful at a time and squeeze out all water from cucumbers, place squeezed cucumbers in a bowl. After you've done this with all of the cucumbers, pour oil and just enough vinegar to almost cover all of the cucumbers. Stir in pepper and paprika. Chill before serving. Serve in small salad bowl to keep the vinegar and oil from spreading onto the rest of your food.

If you are going to serve this immediately you can substitute olive oil for the vegetable oil, but olive oil doesn't refrigerate well.  I never can seem to be able to make enough of this salad, if I used 10 cucumbers we'd still finish the entire salad every meal.
Makes 6 servings 

Thinly slice cucumbers
They should look like this when you are done
I love Sea Salt, it's all I use
mmm, we all love salty cucumbers.
After they have cured for at least 2 hours
squeeze all juices out
Place squeezed cucs in a bowl
Add your oil
And just enough vinegar to almost cover the cucumbers
I love the look of the pepper and paprika

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