I don’t know about you but after the holidays I crave eating light. My body just wants to go back to a more reasonable routine and dictates that my diet consist of mostly feel good food. And after a few days I feel back on track. Does that happen to you?
Quite often that change in diet consists of revisiting what I call “free” foods. By free foods I mean those that technically have no calories. Don’t get me wrong, all food has calories, but free foods are the kind that take more calories to digest than what they have resulting in a negative balance of calories. And one of my all-time favorite free foods is cucumber.
There are many ways you can serve cucumber that ramps up the calories, but this particular recipe, even though it does contain some sugar (and only if you feel you need it), keeps it down to a dull roar. This recipe is so easy to make and if you like tangy foods like I do, it will easily become your go-to salad option.
So let’s talk easy, tangy cucumber salad…
Lesson Learned 1 – Yes the dressing has sugar in it, but you can regulate that: After pouring through several variations of this kind of recipe I found that the amount of sugar used to offset the tartness of the vinegar can vary. Personally I like tart. I can eat a lemon like a piece of fruit. So I do not find apple cider vinegar to be over the top in terms of tartness. So here is my suggestion. Start with a light teaspoon of sugar (or maybe even no sugar at all). If after you taste the mixture you think it is too tart, add a little more. I would not go any higher than two teaspoons. After all this recipe is designed to be tangy.
Lesson Learned 2 – Use a mandolin slicer to get nice thin, even slices: Nothing replaces a mandolin slicer for consistency in slicing. The main drawback of the mandolin slicer is the potential for slicing your skin as well, especially if you aren’t paying attention. Always use a mandolin slicer with caution, but use it to get the best results in slicing.
Lesson Learned 3 – This dish is not meant to be eaten immediately: This recipe tastes much better after it has a little time to sit so the cucumbers and dressing can get well acquainted. I would let it sit a minimum of 1 hour before serving. It’s even better if you let it sit for about 4 hours.
Lesson Learned 4 – This recipe is best if eaten with 2 days: Make only enough so that you will either finish it at one meal or for have it only for a couple of days. After that the cucumbers get lose their freshness and get too limp.
Quick, easy and flavorful. That’s what this recipe is all about. Try serving this as a replacement for a side salad or use it as a bed for a nice piece of roasted salmon as pictured below. You will love it, I guarantee it!
Easy Tangy Cucumber Salad...
1-2 English Cucumbers (depending on size) sliced into 1/8 inch slices
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
1-2 tsp. sugar (start out with none or a light teaspoon, taste and go from there)
1 tsp. kosher salt (add more if needed)
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
2 Tbs. fresh chopped chives
In a medium bowl mix the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Slice the cucumbers and chop the chives. Add the cucumber and chives to the dressing mixture. Stir till well combined. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve as a salad or as an accompaniment to a meal (see roast salmon suggestion above).