Would you be surprised if I told you I had eight different kinds of vinegar in my cupboard?
Before I lived in Europe, my experience with vinegar was limited to dying Easter eggs. And that’s exactly what I thought about when I smelled the simple oil and vinegar dressing on the salads I ate in Austria.
I tried to suppress my egg-dying thoughts, not wanting to offend my sweet elderly hostesses by scrunching my nose. Then I grew to love vinegar’s bite. Kind of like how I grew to love plain sparkling water.
When I started spreading my little culinary wings, I discovered how necessary vinegar is! Have you ever made something, tasted it, and thought it was sort of “meh”? So you put some salt on it, which improved the flavor some, but it was still lacking? Chances are it needed some acid.
Acid helps to brighten flavors. Vinegar is an acid.
(Citrus is also acidic and does the same thing, but we’re talking vinegar right now.)
Try it. And then come tell me how awesome it was. And then I’ll jump up and down and squeal with you.
If you’ve discovered the miracle that is vinegar, have you ever tinkered with specialty vinegars? A dear friend of mine (who knows me very well) once gave me a bottle of fig balsamic vinegar. I swear I could drink it straight it’s so good. I ration that stuff. If you’ve ever wondered where to buy vinegar (like the fig balsamic stuff), there are lots of great online sources.
(The one I linked to up there has a Parmesan Walnut Caesar Vinaigrette. Um. I’m drooling.)
I think marinated cucumbers helped me to love vinegar. It’s a popular side dish in Austria (and Germany, too, I think).
Have you bought a mandoline slicer yet? Seriously, what are you waiting for?
Seeing all those super-thin uniform cuts makes me super happy. Unless I cut myself… which I’ve only done once this month. And it wasn’t that bad. I was still happy about the uniformity, despite the blood spewing from my finger.
I like my cukes marinated in a mixture of two parts vinegar to one part oil. You can adjust it however you like. The longer it sits, the better it gets. Until it gets slimy. Don’t wait that long.
I also wanted to mention that I usually avoid white sugar like the plague when preparing our everyday meals and snacks, but I did use a couple pinches in this. Honey wouldn’t spread evenly, and my stevia is super-concentrated. I didn’t want it tasting like cucumber candy.
This salad adds some freshness if you’re eating something that’s really meaty or heavy. They also belong underneath a couple of fried eggs for lunch. Or with shrimp and pico de gallo.
You could also add fresh herbs (dill is really good in this), garlic, or chili flakes!
I’ve made it for my kids a few times and they eat them like potato chips. (Especially the one who really likes pickles.)
Simple Marinated Cucumbers
Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes + marinating time
1 English cucumber, sliced very thinly
1/4 cup rice or white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pinches of sugar
black pepper, if desired
Place the cucumbers in a bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a measuring cup and pour over the cukes. Stir to coat well, Adjust the seasonings if necessary. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes or up to a few hours before eating.
Nat's Note: You could also add fresh herbs (dill is especially good in this!), minced garlic, or chili flakes to the dressing.
from Perry's Plate
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Disclaimer: This post contains a sponsored link, however all opinions shared are 100% my own. Like always.