This dish fills my requirements for an easy summer salad: It is light, can be made a little ahead of time and goes with a variety of grilled fish, poultry and meats. There's just enough oil to carry some flavor and just enough salt to season the dressing. The salad tastes vibrant hours or even a day after it is assembled.
To make things easy, I use seedless (English) or hothouse cucumbers, neither of which must be peeled or seeded. You can find them in most supermarkets; look for the long, thin cucumbers that are shrink-wrapped. Locally grown hothouse cucumbers are smaller and can be found at farmers markets and in some supermarkets.
I use a trick here to take the bite out of the onion: Once it's diced, I let it sit in the dressing for 15 minutes before mixing in the cucumber. I also try to use sweet onion for this recipe; it's naturally less pungent.
Make Ahead: The salad can be assembled up to 1 hour in advance and held at room temperature.
- 1/2 small sweet or yellow onion, cut into small dice (1/2 cup)
- 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar, or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1 pound seedless cucumbers, cut lengthwise into quarters, then cut into 1/4-inch slices (may substitute small hothouse cucumbers)
- 1 small carrot, finely grated (1/2 cup)
- 3 or 4 fronds of dill, finely chopped (1 or 2 tablespoons), or more to taste
Combine the onion, vinegar, oil, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Combine the cucumbers, carrot, 1 tablespoon of the dill and the onion-vinegar mixture (dressing). Toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed; add dill, if desired.
The salad can be served right away; or, if possible, let the salad sit for an hour (to let the flavors develop), stirring it once.
From columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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