When summer falls like a blowtorch in central Arizona, I can’t help thinking about the verdant hills of the Rhineland. Memories of its checkered fields of sunflowers and vineyards, beautiful trees, and the much cooler temperatures get me all dreamy. If I could get on a plane this minute and head to Germany, I would. Since that’s not in the cards just this moment, I’m sitting in the air conditioning and eating German Cucumber Salad, “Gurkensalat.”
Perfect Summer Salad
Salads and summer were made for each other and this cool, creamy, and slightly tangy German Cucumber Salad is the perfect antidote for the rising temperatures. Serve it alongside pretty much any grilled meat like brats, steaks, ribs, or you name it. It especially pairs well with pork. It’s even great on its own. I can’t help nabbing a little slice here and there from the refrigerator when I pass by. It’s calls me, you know.
How to Make German Cucumber Salad
This salad is so easy to make you might find yourself making it again and again this summer. The first step is to gather your ingredients. Luckily, there are only six of them: cucumbers, sour cream, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, and fresh dill. You can use regular white vinegar, but I find white wine vinegar has a more delicate flavor.
Prevent Watery Cucumber Salad
Once you’re sure you have everything you need for the gurkensalat, wash and peel the cucumbers. Then slice them with a mandolin or a sharp knife into 2 or 3 mm thick coins. Place the coins in a colander set over a shallow dish like a pie plate, or in a strainer over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Stir to distribute the salt on all the cucumber slices and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes. This process will draw water from the cucumbers and prevent your German Cucumber Salad from turning into a watery mess.
Prepare the Dressing
While the cucumbers are draining, mix the sour cream, white wine vinegar, pepper, and chopped dill in a small bowl. Then, set the bowl in the refrigerator to keep cool until the cucumbers are done sweating.
Mix it All Up
Once the cucumbers have drained, place them in a bowl and cover them with the dressing. Mix it all well with a big spoon to ensure all of the cucumbers are coated with dressing. If you’re watching your salt intake, you may want to rinse the cucumbers and pat them dry before mixing them in with the dressing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for, at least, one hour to meld the flavors in this creamy cucumber salad.
Serve German Cucumber Salad cold and enjoy!
Looking for more yummy summer recipes to pair with meat from the grill? Try my Salsa Verde Recipe with Roasted Tomatillos.