I Want a Dutch Oven Cookbook!

I Want a Dutch Oven Cookbook! - Purchase your very own Dutch Oven Cookbook from Nimbus Publising

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cool-as-a-Cuke Salad

Cucumber Salad – Old Lunenburg Dishes, Pg. 20 – Catherine M. Creighton (Mrs. H. A.)

Cucumber salad - a common fresh summer salad, is prepared in many different ways. The Dutch Oven version of the cucumber is tied to Nova Scotia’s German heritage, derived from the German version of the salad know as gurkensalat. If anyone knows cucumbers it’s the Germans – right? They even hide pickles on their Christmas trees – seriously – “hide the pickle” or some sort of nonsensical business like that. Moving on…

As we prepared for this blog, we learnt that people are passionate about their cucumber salad. The popularity of cucumbers at our end of the world is really no surprise. This hearty vegetable is plentiful in gardens around Nova Scotia and has a long growing season from June through September. We like our cukes! Well most of us anyway…the truth is…wait for it…Peter hates cucumbers!!!

We’ll give you a moment to take that in…

Peter’s been carrying that burden for a while. The secret is out, Peter’s a cuke hater. Judge not, lest ye be judged and cast the first cucumber as they say…or some nonsense like that. Moving on…

One person who doesn’t hate cucumbers - a cuke lovah one might say – is Jan. She’ll eat’em raw, sliced, diced, chopped or pickled (Peter also likes pickles, although not a fan of pickled peppers for obvious reasons). In any case, differences have been put aside for the love of the Dutch Oven. Cuke haters and lovers unite to bring you the people’s beloved cucumber salad (gurkensalat).

Cucumber Salad

3 medium cucumbers
1 tsp salt
1 small onion chopped finely (optional)

4 tbsp cider vinegar
½ cup white sugar
¼ tsp pepper
¾ cup sour cream


Peel 3 medium cucumbers and slice very thin. Cover with one tsp of salt and press with heavy weight for 2 hours. One small onion chopped finely may be added before pressing. Drain liquid from Cucumbers. Combine dressing and cucumbers. Add extra sugar or vinegar to taste.

Dutch Oven Tips & Tricks:

We used a mandolin to get a nice thin and even slice on our cucumbers. Our facebook page was aflutter with opinions regarding the addition of onions to the salad – despite popular opinion; we opted not to add the onion. We’re not fan of raw onion – sorry onion lovers. We had no idea how to press the cucumbers – so we MacGruber’d a press using two bowls, a pot and jar of oats – we’re in negotiations with Williams Sonoma to release the patent, so don’t get any ideas. We’ve since learned this can be done using a single object placed on top of the cucumbers – a facebook friend of the Dutch Oven suggested a pressing stone (whatever that is). Still think we’re onto something with our MacGruber press. Lastly, when it comes to draining the cukes, it’s kind of a personal preference. Some prefer to leave some of the liquid for added flavor, while other like to thoroughly drain them.

So get your gurke on ya’ll. This fresh summer side dish is super simple to prepare and guaranteed to leave you cool-as-a-cuke!


  1. My mom makes (and lives on) a very similar recipe! She just marinates the cucumbers in the vinegar for a bit, drains and then adds the salt and sour cream... no onions. It is a very refreshing summer salad, isn't it? Nicely done and thanks for the memories. I might just have to make this again. Haven't since she visited a while ago.

  2. Jan, I have some nice rocks in my front garden that would make an excellent cucumber press. Help yourself next time you're in town!