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Author Notes: This is a cross between a pickle and a salad, adapted from a pickled cucumber and shallot recipe in Chez Panisse Vegetables. It's about as simple as it gets as far as cucumber salads go, though it does require a brief salting, a step that makes all the difference in the final salad—salting ensures the cucumbers will better soak up the dressing. I like this salad on its own, though it is delicious atop toasts slathered with hummus, too. —Alexandra Stafford
cucumbers (about a pound)
small red onion or a few shallots
teaspoons kosher salt
tablespoon vinegar such as white balsamic, white wine, or rice
Fresh herbs such as basil, dill, mint or parsley
Olive oil (optional)
- Peel cucumbers. Slice one cucumber crosswise and taste. If it tastes bitter, halve the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, then slice the cucumber into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick pieces. Otherwise, slice the cucumber into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick rounds. Repeat with remaining cucumber.
- Peel the onion or shallots, cut in half, and slice as thinly as possible. Place them in a large bowl with the cucumbers and toss with the salt. Let sit for 45 minutes.
- Rinse the cucumbers and onions, drain, and taste for salt. If they are too salty, rinse and drain again. Place in a clean towel and press lightly to dry. Transfer cucumbers to a clean bowl and sprinkle with vinegar. Toss with herbs. Taste. Often I find I don't even need to add oil, but add a splash if you wish. Serve. Note: If you want to make this ahead, add the herbs just before serving.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!