As a little girl, I was lucky enough to have a beautiful Polish neighbour that invited me and my family into her home with open arms. She was my ‘Nana’ from another family. I remember standing in her welcoming kitchen surrounded by glass jars of all shapes and sizes, packed to the brim with pickling cucumbers slowly fermenting…ah, the sweet, sour, and salty memories! However, this little gem of a salad comes to you unpickled and straight from Nana’s brain bank. Recipes were never recorded on paper but instead told like a bedtime story you never wanted to end. “A little bit of ‘dis and a little bit of ‘dat” is about as close as I’d get to a proper measurement from her but she taught me dishes I’ll always remember. And unlike pickling, you won’t need to wait 2-3 weeks to get stuck into this simple and refreshing salad. With its minimal prep time and maximum enjoyment factor, you’ll be as cool as a cucumber serving this to friends and family!
8-10 Lebanese cucumbers (these are the sweetest and most crunchy but 3-4 thin telegraph cucumbers will also do the trick)
½ a small red onion finely diced
2 tablespoons of your favourite full-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons wine vinegar OR lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill
1 tablespoon finely cut fresh chives
2-3 good pinches of sea salt flakes
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
- Peel and thinly slice the cucumbers
- Place in your best bowl and season with salt to allow some of the water to come out of the cucumbers
- Drain some of the water out of the bowl (you can pat with a paper towel)
- Add the mayonnaise, white wine vinegar (or lemon juice), red onion, dill, and chives, a few generous twists of cracked black pepper, and gently combine
- If you want to imitate this particular Nana, make another 20 dishes, serve to a table of four and eat leftovers for a week!
NOTE: A traditional Polish cucumber salad (Mizeria) is usually made with sour cream instead of mayonnaise and without the red onion but this Nana had a sweet tooth and liked a bit of zing!)
Did you know cucumbers are actually a fruit and come from the same family as pumpkins and watermelons?! They are also extremely low in calories (about ½ a cup = approximately 8 calories) and are around 95% water, making them great for hydration.