Food & Drink Magazine

Cold Cucumber Salad ~ A Lesser Known Julia Child Classic

By Weavethousandflavors

Cucumber salad - 01
I recently have been on a quiche binge (to be posted very soon) so indeed Julia Child's Quiche Lorraine was a forerunner.

I don't know about you but I'm always looking to serve a refreshing side with a wedge of rich buttery quiche and though fresh fruit is always a fall back option, it's nice to do something else for a change.

So when I came across this version of Julia Child's cucumber salad which was fresh and minimally prepared I jumped all over it. It puts the cucumber right up there on center stage, not just in some corner with other stuff taking up all the limelight.

But what makes it spectacular, is the power of diffusion working wonders on he cucumber. Cucumber slices are soaked for several hours in a bowl of water with vinegar and sugar in the refrigerator.

The cucumber absorbs the flavors ever so slightly but in such a perfect balance of flavors that after removing from the water, only some freshly chopped mint and a drizzle of Olive oil is required to finish.

Mind you I taught this at my Culinary class last weekend and everyone have gerat ideas on additions - thinly sliced red onions, feta cheese and blueberries.

That's what is lovely about this, it presents a perfect crunchy and refreshing canvas for all our little tweaks.

Cucumber salad - collage


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Recipe for

Cold Cucumber Salad ~ Slightly adapted from, ‘The Way to Cook’

Preparation time: 10 minutes/ Chilling time: 2-5 hours

Shopping List - Serves 4  

2 English cucumbers

¼ cup Vinegar

3 tbs Sugar

Water to soak cucumbers


2 tbs Olive oil

Fresh herbs to taste – such as mint or dill

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper to taste


Cucumbers: Trim and peel the cucumbers. Cut in half lengthwise and then scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut into diagonal half rings – about 1/8” thick.

In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar and sugar and enough water to cover the cucumbers. Let the cucumbers soak for a few hours in the refrigerator.

Dressing: Combine the olive oil with the salt, pepper and herbs in a bowl.
Drain the cucumbers in a sieve and empty into a bowl.

Toss with the dressing. Serve as a refreshing summer side.


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