For summer weeknights not much beats food that does not have to be cooked of heated, except possibly fat-free sugar-free, healthy food that requires no cooking, or heating and that your children will actually eat.
This traditional side dish is naturally free of the top twenty allergens. It is also very quick to make and unlike just plain sliced cucumbers it will actually stay fresh and tasty for several days in your refrigerator. I volunteer at the cafeteria in my son’s school despite the fact that he cannot eat any of the food there, and I have learned that most kids will actually eat cucumbers. A pretty large percentage actually ask for seconds. This is not true for the mixed veggies which are not overcooked but which very few kids seem to actually eat when not supervised (or threatened) by parents.
I chop my cucumbers because I am lazy, but a lot of traditional recipes slice the cucumbers and onions into thin slices using a food processor with a slicer attachment or a mandoline. This works fine, I just find it harder for children to stab with a fork and since I just use a knife it is also slower.
This recipe is very refreshing on hot days and it goes great with barbequed chicken (cooked outside on a grill), or other grilled meat. It’s especially nice to have for summer weeknight dinners since there is no heating involved and no preparation that day is required.
It also travels well for picnics and tailgates and is a nice side dish with sandwiches.
3 large fresh cucumbers
1 large fresh onion (large by yellow onion standards, if you use a bermuda onion use a small one)
1/2 cup organic, unpasteurized, apple cider vinegar (you can use other vinegar as well. Rice vinegar with sugar can give it a bit of a sushi flavor)
1 tsp salt (truly optional – most traditional recipies don’t use salt)
1 tsp black pepper.
1 large jar with lid or a bowl with a lid. Ideally glass or porcelain lined. Preferably not plastic. Definitely not aluminum.
1 knife for chopping cucumbers and onions (or a mandoline of a food processor, but a knife is all you need)
1 cutting board
Measuring cups and spoons
Wash the cucumbers
If you want to peel the cucumbers do so now. There is no need to do it and the skins have a lot of nutrients, but a lot of people like their cucumbers peeled. Personally I like to run a fork down the sides and make them more colorful.
Quarter the cucumbers lengthwise and chop into about 1/2 inch dice (whatever seems reasonable).
Put the cucumbers in the jar
Peel and mince onion
Put the onion in the jar
Put all remaining ingredients into the jar and screw on the lid
Shake jar. Put jar in fridge. Shake again occasionally.
Serve sometime in the next few days