Cucumber Salad Side Dish

This quick and easy, refreshing summer salad can be made a few hours ahead.  Serve with grilled meats, fish or poultry and your favorite potato salad!  Scroll down after the recipe for a perfect wine pairing!

Adapted from Hill  Country Barbecue.

 

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Serves 6-8

4 English cucumbers

1 large sweet onion (optional)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup chopped dill

1) Wash and dry the cucumbers.  Peel alternating strips of the green skin off the cucumber with a vegetable peeler.

2) Slice very thin, preferably using a mandoline, and set aside.  

3) Peel onion, if using, and slice as thinly as the cucumbers.  In a large bowl, mix cucumber and onion.

4) Whisk sugar, salt and vinegars together until completely dissolved.  Stir in dill.

5) Pour over cucumber and onions.  Mix well, separating the slices so they are not sticking together.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

 

Perfect Wine Pairing

Although this dish has both sweet and tart elements, the level of tanginess from the vinegar requires a wine that will stand up to the bright acidity.  Gruner Veltliner wines will do just that.  They have spice and white pepper flavors as well as juicy fruit flavors on the palate.  They tend to have a crisp, dry finish that will complement many vegetable dishes.  Here are two excellent choices, one from Austria, the birthplace of Gruner, and the other from the Finger Lakes Region in Upstate NY.

 Made from one of Austria's finest wineries, this Gruner is very dry and crisp with lots of citrus flavors as well as herbaceous white pepper on the palate.

Made from one of Austria's finest wineries, this Gruner is very dry and crisp with lots of citrus flavors as well as herbaceous white pepper on the palate.

 This Gruner Veltliner from New York State has both citrus and tropical fruit notes which counterbalance the inherent spice and white pepper flavors on the palate.  Delicious and refreshing!

This Gruner Veltliner from New York State has both citrus and tropical fruit notes which counterbalance the inherent spice and white pepper flavors on the palate.  Delicious and refreshing!