A simple cucumber dill salad with onions and oil and vinegar dressing (vinaigrette).
What salad can be more refreshing than a cucumber salad with dill and an oil and vinegar dressing? There is hardly any, at least I cannot think of a more refreshing salad than a cucumber salad with lots of dill.
CUCUMBER SALAD WITH DILL AND VINAIGRETTE
I have been eating this kind of cucumber salad with dill and onions all my life and although I’ve seen this recipe under the name of German cucumber salad many times, I have to say that this particular cucumber salad could be a Romanian cucumber salad any time, my grandmother used to make it exactly the same way.
HOW TO MAKE CUCUMBER SALAD WITH DILL
There is not really that much to say about making the cucumber salad with dill in an oil and vinegar dressing. The recipe is simple, quick, incredibly cheap, refreshing, delicious and so on.
As far as I am concerned the secret to a good cucumber salad lies in slicing the cucumbers as thinly as possible. My grandmother used to take extra time and patience in slicing her cucumbers very thinly. She didn’t have a mandoline for cutting vegetables, you see, so the whole process would be a tad more laborious during those time.
Happily, I do own a mandoline (actually 3 of them… I bought myself one, which I used exactly once and received two fancier and much better ones as presents shortly after). I cannot say I use them very often, but they are priceless when it comes to slicing cucumbers, potatoes and cabbage.
No matter how annoyed I usually am about taking the step ladder and getting the mandoline out of the cupboard, I always do bother to do that when making cucumber salad with dill.
So, do use a mandoline to very thinly slice the cucumbers for the salad or use a very good sharp knife and take the time to get the slices nice and thin.
After slicing the cucumbers with a mandoline, you will notice that they tend to stick together. That is not so bad, try to get them a bit apart with your hands and mix the cucumbers with the onions, dill and oil and vinegar dressing using your hands as well. This way you will automatically take more care to separate the sticking slices.
INGREDIENTS FOR CUCUMBER DILL SALAD
I usually use English cucumbers, the variety most commonly found here in Germany. You can make the salad with shorter cucumbers as well, in this case use 2 or 3, depending on size.
I often use red onions, but regular onions are fine as well.
Fresh dill is best, but frozen is OK as well. Don’t use dried dill, it really doesn’t make any sense in this salad, dried dill is pretty bland and the salad relies on the dill flavor.
Red wine or white wine vinegar are both wonderful.
I use just about 1 teaspoon sugar, but you can adjust the taste to your liking.
I never use olive oil to make cucumber salad with dill, it would just not feel right to me. I use a neutral tasting oil, either canola or a light tasting sunflower oil. In case of sunflower oil there are differences in taste, so make sure you choose one that is not too overpowering.
HOW TO MAKE OIL AND VINEGAR DRESSING – VINAIGRETTE
No matter how good a creamy cucumber salad with sour cream is, I still prefer to make an oil and vinegar dressing for cucumber onion salad with dill, I think it keeps the whole affair fresher and that is my favorite thing about cucumber salad.
To make a good oil and vinegar dressing or a vinaigrette at home could not be any easier, I have never ever bought a bottle of any kind of ready made dressing and I cannot understand why people do.
They are full of chemicals, sugar and other things your body doesn’t need, they never taste as good as homemade dressings, they are expensive and making your own salad dressing takes minutes.
If you would like to try another one of my standard salad dressings – a yogurt dressing – have a look at this post for How to Make a Basic Yogurt Dressing. I make that yogurt salad dressing at least twice a week.
To make the oil and vinegar dressing or vinaigrette for the cucumber salad with dill really takes 2 minutes tops.
- Give the vinegar, sugar, some salt and pepper to a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Add the oil and whisk a little more until the oil and vinegar dressing emulsifies slightly.
- Pour over the cucumber salad in the bowl and stir well to coat the cucumber slices in the vinegar dressing. I prefer to use my hands when mixing the cucumber salad with its oil and vinegar dressing.
HOW TO SERVE CUCUMBER SALAD WITH DILL
We always have the cucumber onion salad with dill, oil and vinegar dressing as a side dish. I often make it when grilling in the garden and serve it alongside grilled meats or skewers.
We love the salad in combination with oven roasted potatoes wedges for a vegetarian/vegan meal. It also makes a great accompaniment for skillet chicken breasts or chicken breast fritters. Not to mention that this cucumber salad with dill is the perfect side dish for any kind of schnitzel.
- 1 long English cucumber
- 1 small red or white onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons neutral tasting oil (See note)
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Slice the cucumber very thinly. Use a mandoline for best results.
- Give the cucumber slices to a bowl. Use your hands to unstick the slices that might stick together.
- Chop the onion very finely and give it to the bowl together with the dill.
- Give the vinegar, sugar, some salt and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk to combine and add the oil. Whisk until the mixture emulsifies slightly.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and combine, preferably with your hands, this way you will be able to unstick even more cucumber slices and to coat them nicely with the oil and vinegar dressing.
- Adjust the taste with more salt, pepper and sugar if necessary.
- Serve as suggested above.
Canola oil or a mild tasting sunflower oil. Don't use olive oil.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 of the salad
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 116 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 75mg Carbohydrates: 5g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 3g Protein: 1g