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Guerkensalat - Cucumber Salad

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Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1248
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:10 pm    Post subject: Guerkensalat - Cucumber Salad Reply with quote

so here's my take on German Guerkensalat - Cucumber Salad..... really refreshing for hot summer days.
Germans use the same word (Guerken) for pickles and cucumbers; it's all in the contex....

peel & slice up some fresh cucumber - about 3/32" or 2 mm thick .
look for the smaller cucumbers - large ones with big seeds and/or separating cores are not optimum for the dish. a mandolin is very helpful for large qtys -

very lightly salt the slices, placing in strainer/colander to drain - I use at least three layers - i.e. slices, salt, more slices. cover&store in fridge overnight to drain liquid.

amount of liquid will vary by cucumber size, ripeness, etc

thinly slice onion - I use 50:50 cucumber to onion by volume; it's an approximate thing.....
white onion for really mild; my preference is yellow - has a slight bite.
red onion discolors / turn muddy yuk color with marinating....

make a marinade - shown here red wine vinegar with (std) olive oil + fresh ground black pepper.
alternatives below.

whisk to emulsify, add drained cuke slices, onion slices, toss to ensure all is well coated, chill prior to service.

notes aka My Ode to Cucumber Salad.

this dish is a bit like caprese - too much fiddling is not good.

alternate seasonings:
- celery seed - one of my favs
- minced fresh dill - salad works well with salmon - but only if the fish is not dilled to death.
- finely diced fresh chives - another of my fav alternatives.
- minced fresh mint - most absolutely not German by any stretch - but a great change up with summer dishes.
- unfavorite: parsley - flat or curly

on the salt&drain bit:
if you are fixing this for immediate consumption and do not anticipate left overs, you can skip the salt&drain step. that step is essential however where the dish / leftovers are kept over time - skipping the salt&drain step results in limp chewy cucumber slices when not consumed 'immediately'

and, keeping / letting it stand for 2-3 days greatly increases the "pickled" texture/tang - I always make it two days ahead.
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Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks really tasty! Have to check your recipe.
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