This cucumber salad is light and refreshing with just the right amount of tang— a perfect balance of salty and sweet.
Cucumber salad is a German classic that’s made its way to the American table. Its light and refreshing flavor make it an excellent summer side dish.
There are all sorts of variations to cucumber salad. Typically my grandma prepared a creamed version (always a huge hit at family gatherings), but I wanted to put a personal twist by incorporating a pickled aspect.
The outcome was 100% blog-worthy!
The pickled red onions provide a subtle sweetness that pairs perfectly with lightly seasoned cucumbers. Even better, let the leftovers marinade for a week, and you’ve got yourself the BEST pickles ever!
Can You Use Raw Onions Instead of Pickled?
The short answer: yes.
However, the integrity of the flavor profile is dependent upon the pickled red onions. Pickling the onions adds complexity and balance to the salad. Therefore, I wouldn’t suggest opting out of the pickling (yes, it’s time-consuming— but I assure you— it’s SO worth it).
The good news: you may be able to get your hands on store-bought pickled onions— and if that’s the case, by all means— save yourself the time girl!
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Homemade Pickled Red Onions
Yield: 3 cups onions | Serving Size: 2 Tbsp onions
Calories: 18 | Fat: 0g | Carb: 4g | Protein: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 1g
- 1 large red onion
- 3 Tablespoons star anise
- 4 Tablespoons whole cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons black peppercorn
- 2 Tablespoons whole coriander
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 2 dried arbol chilis
- 2 Tablespoons dried hibiscus (optional)
- 3 cups vinegar (I’ve chosen red wine and champagne vinegar)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of Himalayan sea salt
- Wrap all spices (excluding salt) securely in cheesecloth. Tie off with a piece of string or a rubber band.
- Pour the water and vinegar in a large pot.
- Whisk in sugar and toss in spice wrap.
- Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. While boiling, julienne cut the onion and place it in a glass jar.
- After 5 minutes, remove the liquid from the heat and whisk in the salt.
- Remove wrap and strain if necessary.
- Pour the liquid over the sliced onion and seal up the jar.
- Place the jar in the refrigerator and wait for the magic to happen.
The longer you wait, the more complex the flavor. I would recommend waiting at least 2 hours before consuming them. 24 hours will be even better. Saves 2+ weeks.Print
This cucumber salad is light and refreshing with just the right amount of tang. A perfect balance of salty and sweet.
- Thinly slice the cucumbers (using a mandoline slicer if you’re a pro, but a sharp knife will do).
- Place sliced cucumbers in a glass bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.
- Eat immediately or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.*
*Mini or English cucumbers are best because they’re seedless. However, if you can’t get your hands on them regular cucumbers will do.
*The vinegar that you’re storing those wonderful homemade pickled onions in is full of flavor and makes an excellent addition to this salad. However, you’re welcome to use red wine or champagne vinegar in its place if you’ve opted out of the pickling process.
*Fresh is always best. Use 1/2 Tablespoon dried dill as a last resort (if you can’t get your hands on fresh).
*See recipe above.
*After 4-5 days your cucumbers will begin turning into pickles. Don’t worry, they’ll be the best damn pickles you’ve ever tasted!
- Category: Salad
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Keto
- Serving Size: 1 Cup
- Calories: 13
- Sugar: 2g
- Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 3g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 0g
Keywords: recipes, vinegar, keto, German, healthy, dill, apple cider vinegar, best, low carb, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free
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