After last week’s schnitzel fest I got several requests for the cucumber salad that I served with the dish. It’s one of those recipes I’ve been making since I was old enough to hold a knife, but this weekend I finally took the time to measure out the exact proportions. And thus, ode to my Hungarian heritage week continues.
Cucumber salad is perfect to serve alongside traditional schnitzel, but it’s also just a great side to any sort of heartier chicken or pork dish. You can jazz it up using different flavor profiles and seasonal veggies (one of my favorite Asian-inspired recipes is for Cucumber and Sesame Salad).
And despite the 18 inches of snow New York City got (in a single day) last week, I’m still keeping my hopes up that spring weather is just weeks away. So what better way to ease into bikini-shape than with a guilt-free, refreshing side dish. It’s just what the dietitian ordered … alongside a plate of pan-fried Wienerschnitzel and a cold Heineken.
Hungarian Cucumber Salad
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 2 large cucumbers
- 2 Tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1½ cups white vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Sour cream, for garnish
- Hungarian paprika, for garnish
- Begin by slicing the cucumbers on a mandoline set to 1/8" thickness. Note: While a mandoline is best for ensuring paper thin slices, you can also just use a knife while making sure to slice the cucumber as thin as possible.
- Add the cucumbers to a large bowl, then add the minced shallots, chopped fresh dill, white vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Stir to combine ingredients then cover the bowl and refrigerate it, stirring occasionally, for at least one hour prior to serving. Note: You can prepare the salad up to 24 hours in advance.
- When ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to transfer the salad into serving dishes. Top with a dollop of sour cream and a dash of Hungarian paprika.