Cool as a Cucumber Salad

This simple salad beats coleslaw hands down as an accompaniment for barbecued brisket.  The vinegar dressing and the fresh cucumbers cut through the richness of the beef in a sweet and savory salad that is as refreshing as the name sounds.

  • 2 English (seedless) cucumbers

  • 4 shallots

  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher or sea salt

  • 1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

Wash and dry the cucumbers.  Peel alternating strips of the green skin off the cucumber with a vegetable peeler.  Slice very thinly with a mandoline-style slicer or a slicing disc of a food processor.  Set aside.   Peel shallots and slice at the same thinness as the cucumber.  Mix cucumber and shallots.  The shallot slices will un-ravel into small rings, which is what you want.  Set aside.

Whisk sugar, salt and vinegar together until completely dissolved.  Pour over cucumber and shallot slices and mix well, separating the slices to make sure none of them are sticking together.  Put vegetables and all the liquid in a non-reactive (plastic or glass) container with a tight lid and refrigerate, turning occasionally for at least 3 hours or overnight before serving.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Keeps for five days in the refrigerator—but they’ll be gone long before that!

Note:  I like to put up the “cured” pickles in Mason jars for giving away and serving.

Serves 4

© 2011 Elizabeth A. Karmel, executive chef of Hill Country, recipe adapted from Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ

SaladElizabeth Karmel