A lot of my friends have fond memories of their grandmother’s chicken soup or their mom’s amazing brisket. Sadly, I don’t have these sacred food memories. My Jewish grandmother (who I love dearly) is not such a great cook. Her kugel is always dried-out, her soup is too fatty and still needs salt, and she serves jarred gefilte fish at holidays, which more closely resembles lint from a dryer than something edible.
But one of the dishes she makes that I do enjoy is her marinated cucumber salad. It’s a dish that she learned to make from her grandmother (my great-great grandmother) who lived most of her life in Russia.
I updated her recipe just a bit, using seedless English cucumbers instead of regular cucumber, and adding a bit of spice with just a pinch of red pepper. I also love serving my salad in mason jars – definitely a modern twist.
This quick salad is a cinch to whip up, keeps for several days in the fridge and is a real crowd-pleaser. My young daughter devours it, and even my father-in-law approves – truly the ultimate compliment.
- 1 large seedless English cucumber
- 1 yellow or red onion, thinly sliced
- 6 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp water
- 2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
- Slice cucumber 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and dill.
- Add thinly sliced cucumbers and onions to bowl and mix until liquid coats all the cucumbers and onions.
- Place salad into container and allow to chill several hours or overnight.
Prounounced: KOO-gull (oo as in book), Origin: Yiddish, traditional Ashkenazi casserole frequently made with egg noodles or potatoes.