As the dog days of summer approach, we find ourselves trying to stay cooler than a cucumber here in Fort Worth. If you know anything about cucumbers, you know they are the perfect summer vegetable. Summer is their thriving season, they are crisp and healthy, and of course they are cool.
One memory that comes to mind when I reminisce on my childhood summer days is the taste of my dad’s fresh, cold cucumber salad. It was the perfect snack or side dish during the hottest of days. Some variations use tomatoes and onions, but having a garden full of cucumbers, he liked to make a cucumber only version.
Another important ingredient in this unique twist on a cucumber salad is the use of red wine vinegar. Red wine vinegar acts as a marinade or pickling agent that further enhances the flavor and texture of the cucumbers. Plus, it adds a bitter-sweet taste when combined with the called-for sugar in the recipe.
Mark’s Summer Cucumber Salad
3 Tbsp. salad oil
4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt and pepper
2 tsp. Finely chopped parsley
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, and parsley in a bowl. Stir well. Pour over cucumbers. Refrigerate 2 or more hours before serving. Stir several times before serving.
This cold cucumber salad will always be my fresh, go-to recipe during the heat of the summer. It’s a refreshing snack and is a great zingy, flavorful side dish to add to any meal!