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Back in the Game: Cool and Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Red Onions

Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat. Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat. Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat. Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat. Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat. Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat. Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat.

That’s right Sups! in training. Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Red Onions

I know it’s going to be a long road. But I have the discipline. I have the ability. I have the perfect motivation! Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat. Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Red Onions

“Come on Coach, put me in…”  Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat. Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Red Onions

I want to use my teeth, and bite into something that bites back. Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat. Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Red Onions

My broken jaw is unwired and it is time to put it through the paces. I want to get back in shape. I want to get off the bench and back in the game.  Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat.

Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Red Onions

sippitysup side bar on cucumbersCucumbers seem like a good place to start. They are satisfying on so many levels. There is the crunch I so miss. But cucumbers also have a cool, watery texture. How they got to be both crisp and succulent I cannot say. But these qualities make them a great workout and the perfect ingredient in a cool summer salad.

Let me re-phrase that. When cucumbers are an ingredient in a cool summer salad they are often an after-thought. Something added, with out really thinking, to some plain lettuce with chopped carrots and a bit of celery– maybe even some tomato. It’s certainly cool, and a salad like this is a great vehicle for a super tasty dressing or vinaigrette. But without the great dressing this sort of salad is a bit hum-drum.

Besides in this sort of salad cucumbers are usually peeled.

That’s because a cucumber peel is slightly bitter. But once a cucumber is peeled, it loses something in my opinion. So I like to point out that when handled correctly the bitterness in a cucumber’s peel is something I actually enjoy. So in the standard sort of lettuce salad I usually slice the cucumber quite thin, and enjoy a bit of the bitter bite its peel brings to the palate.

But today I want an entirely different sort of salad. In this salad I want the cucumber to be the center of attention. The main attraction. The reason to eat the salad in the first place.

But there is the issue of that slightly bitter peel. If I try and accomodate for that, then I may slice too thin. I won’t get that crunch I so desperately need to get my jawbone back in the game. I’ll have to keep my slices fairly thick to accomplish that.

The obvious answer is vinegar. Vinegar will tame that bitterness with out sweetening the salad in a traditional sense. Though I will add a bit of sweet with some slices of really good red onion. Vinegar works magic on thin slices of red onion. You could eat that all on its own and be very happy.

But I recommend that you add the cucumber anyway, and get this salad super chilled before you serve it. Between the crunch and the chill and the sweet pucker of vinegar,  this salad is a super summery salad. It’s just the right way to get that crunch that you crave, and help get Sup! back in the game. Bite. Crunch. Chew. Repeat.

Cool and Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Red Onions SERVES 4

 

  • Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Red Onions2 large cucumbers, sliced on a slight diagonal, in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill, thick stems removed

Prepare an ice bath in a medium sized bowl. Place the cucumber and red onion slices into the icy water and let sit about 15 minutes to get good and cold.

Drain the water and toss the cucumber and onion slices onto a paper towel lined baking sheet and top with a few more layers of paper towels. Press gently to absorb as much water as possible. Transfer the slices to a serving bowl.

Season the cucumber and red onion slices with salt and  pepper to taste. Sprinkle on the sugar and the red wine vinegar. Toss the vegetables well, and transfer the bowl, covered to the refrigerator to get very cold. At least 30 minutes.

Just before serving scatter the dill over the top.

Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Red Onions

SERIOUS FUN FOOD

Greg Henry

SippitySup