Creamy Cucumber Salad is a fresh and simple side dish featuring thinly sliced cucumbers and red onions in a sour cream and dill dressing.
Here in Upstate New York we’ve already crossed into 90 degree heat once this summer, and it is forecasted to return again for the 4th of July. Our old farmhouse doesn’t have central air, which means standing in front of a stove can be a downright miserable experience, so I am all about cool summer dishes that don’t heat up my kitchen, like this creamy cucumber salad.
Having a simple salad like Creamy Cucumber salad ready and waiting in the fridge makes getting dinner on the table a breeze on hot summer days, it is one of those tried and true side dishes that everyone loves, and can be stirred together in about 10 minutes. Creamy cucumber salad pairs perfectly with Cornell chicken barbecue and Ribs for dinner.
The History of Cucumber Salads
Creamy cucumber salad is incredibly popular, in fact it seems every family has their own version, and that may be because many cultures have a traditional cucumber salad dish. Typically they all have a similar sour cream dressing, that is seasoned with fresh dill and includes an acidic component, such as vinegar or lemon juice.
In Poland, Creamy Cucumber Salad is called Mizeria. The english translation of Mizeria is misery, which initially seems odd for such a delightful and refreshing salad. The salad which is very popular during the summer months in Poland was said to make Queen Bona Sforza, an Italian princess who married Polish King Sigismund I in the 16th century homesick for Italy. Queen Bona Sforza is credited with bringing a great variety of vegetables from her native Italy to Poland.
The German version of creamy cucumber salad called Gurkensalat is prepared almost identically, and is typically served on many salad plates. Creamy cucumber salads are also commonly enjoyed in Russia and the Ukraine.
How to Make Cucumber Salad
Cucumber salad is so easy to make, and requires absolutely no cooking! To make this light and refreshing salad you only need a couple of fresh ingredients; cucumbers and dill. The Creamy Cucumber Salad Dressing is made with pantry staples you probably already have!
- If you are using english cucumbers, simply wash and slice the cucumbers into into ¼ inch thick slices.
- Thinly slice a purple onion, if the onion strikes me as extremly potent, I’ll give the onion slices a little soak in ice water to tame any overwhelming onion flavor.
- Mix together the remaining dressing ingredients, and gently stir in the sliced cucumbers and onions.
What are the Best Cucumbers and Onions to Use for Creamy Cucumber Salad?
I personally like to use English Cucumbers for all my salads. English cucumbers are also called seedless or burrless cucumbers. They are usually 10 to 12 inches long and slender and sold in plastic sleeves to protect the thin peel. The more tender peel and lack of seeds in an English Cucumber make prepping cucumbers for salads a breeze. If you’d like to use a garden grown slicing cucumber, which is shorter, fatter, with a thicker skin, and has larger seeds. De-seed and remove the peel of the cucumbers before slicing for salad as the seeds can taste bitter and the peel can be tough.
Purple Onion adds a pleasant color to creamy cucumber salad, but any onion you’d slice for a salad makes a good addition. Sweet onions such as Vidalias, Sweet Spanish and Walla Walla also compliment the cool cucumbers and tangy dressing well.
How Long is Cucumber Salad Good For?
Creamy Cucumber Salad is best when served shortly after making it, but it will last several days as long as it is kept cold and covered. The longer this salad sits though the more the cucumbers will weep, making the dressing more watery, and as a result of the cucumber shedding liquids they may also lose some crispness.
Making Creamy Cucumber Salad Weight Watchers Friendly
To make this creamy cucumber salad Weight Watchers Friendly, I use a little less than 1 packet of sugar substitute or enough to equal 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, Hellman’s Light Mayo, and greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Honestly though, even without the lower point substitions this is a light salad.
- 4 cups Cucumber (sliced)
- 1/3 cup Red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup Sour cream
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Fresh dill (chopped)
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, vinegar, sugar and garlic powder. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Stir in the sliced cucumbers and red onions.
- For best flavor refrigerate for an hour before serving.
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