Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cucumber and Onion Salad

So, I've spent today doing things around the house. I'm not really into father's day this year, as you might imagine, though I did call G. on the phone.

Anyway. One of the things that I just finished doing was making a cucumber and onion salad that always reminds me of my Polish grandpa on my mom's side, the father of 10 and so who better to think of on Father's Day? He died when I was 7, but this salad was one of his favorites, it's super easy, and much more delicious than the ingredients would indicate. You will find many a recipe for this online, recipes that call for fancy newfangled ingredients like "lemon juice," and that call for a specific type of onion, fresh dill, etc. All of this is far too fancy and detail-oriented for this salad, and also, it's not like people in Poland had lemons, so I do not feel badly for ignoring these modifications. My experience with this salad is that it did not have such high-falutin' requirements, though it was a summertime treat, and I always felt like it was exotic because of the sour cream, which my grandmother didn't keep in the house normally. So here's the salad:


  • 2 cucumbers (medium to large in size), peeled, and chopped into bite-sized half-circles.
  • 1 small onion, sliced very thinly (I like to do circles, as if you were making super tiny onion rings)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sour cream (depending on how sour creamy you like things; reduced fat works fine, but don't use nonfat or it's not going to be right in terms of taste/texture. People claim you can use greek yogurt, but I'm in love with sour cream and I can't imagine substituting it out.)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika


  1. Peel and chop the cucumbers, put in a big bowl, and add the salt. As you know, I do not measure when I cook. I'd say start with a 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and add more later if you feel like it needs it. The reason for adding the salt at this step is that it starts to get the liquid out of the cucumbers.
  2. Slice the onion, and when finished, mix the onion in with the cucumbers.
  3. Add the sour cream, and black pepper and paprika to taste.
  4. Mix.
  5. Stick in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let the flavors marry (and also to let the sour cream become more like a dressing by mixing with the liquid from the salted cucumber and onion).
Probably would serve a good 4-6 people as a side salad, though I can't imagine that as I could eat this all day long until it was gone.


Susan said...

My mother used to make a version of this, with the only difference that she drained the cukes, and mixed sour cream and mayonnaise. You're right, it's a great summer salad/meal/ etc.
And we used dried dill. Not fancy AT ALL.

Magda Lew said...

It's called "MIZERIA" in Polish. Also one of my Summer Favourites!