Endless Summer Salad


All summer long, my Grandma Morsch had a bowl of this refreshing, sweet-and-sour salad in the fridge. It’s possible, actually, that it was the same bowl all summer long. Well, for a couple weeks in a row, anyway.

Because after supper, when the vessel’s contents were more brine than veg, she’d just slice in another cuke and maybe half an onion, and—boom—it was ready for lunch or snacks or supper the next day.

Endless Summer Cucumber-Onion Salad

These are the easiest quickles I know. Use whatever vinegar you like best. My mom goes for cider, lots of folks I know prefer white, and I’ve lately been favoring rice. All the add-ons are optional. If you add a sliced hot pepper, cilantro’s a natural mix-in. I’ll go dill more often than not, and, in season, a chunked up garlic scape. 

Will the circle be unbroken? You can keep cycling fresh veggies through the same brine for a couple weeks, at least.
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 small onion spring onion
  • 1/2 c vinegar (white or rice or apple cider)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 tbsp sugar (or 1 tbsp honey)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill or 2 tsp dried (optional)
  • a clove of garlic or a roughly chopped scape (optional)
  • chili flakes or thinly sliced fresh hot pepper (optional)
Sometimes my adjustable steel mandoline feels like it’s too much for the job. This little OXO box comes with two blade plates and two grater plates, and tucks into a drawer right under the counter. Easy all around.

Thinly slice the cucumber and onion and toss together in a bowl (preferably one with a lid so that you can use that same bowl to refrigerate the pickles). Add the garlic or scape and chili, if you’re getting adventurous.

Whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Stir in the dill or cilantro.

Pour the brine over the veggies. Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple hours before you serve.

Eat. Slice. Refrigerate. Repeat.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Rhoda R Ballen says:

    Thought it would never happen, but I make a similar cucumber/onion salad. This year I made it with vadalia onions. I only make it in the spring and summer because it reminds me that the warm weather is here for awhile. I use equal parts vinegar and water–the water being ice cubes so that the cukes stay crisp. Rhoda


    1. Susan says:

      Yours is absolutely one of Sheila’s favorites, and she makes a couple times each summer, too!

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