Wilted Cucumber Salad

Paleo * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve


This is one of the few Hungarian recipes my mother made that did not start off with paprika, it’s one of the standard recipes to be served on holidays (this month being Passover).  Mom (and probably all my ancestors) used to include one step that, I confess, I am too lazy to bother with.  After salting the cucumbers and onions, she would take small handfuls and squeeze them over the sink until no more liquid would drip out.  The result was cucumbers that were more wilted than ones in this recipe, however, I don’t think this recipe suffers even a little bit due to the shortcut.  This is a refreshing salad, great with any main dish or sandwich (if you eat them).  You can double this recipe easily,  and because it stays “good” in the refrigerator for two weeks or more weeks, you can always have it on hand (though  it will become less green and more wilted).

Wilted Cucumber Salad

When buying cucumbers I usually look for ones that are very firm, long and thin – they seem to have less and smaller pits.  If the cucumbers you are using have small pits, you can peel them and skip the rest of step 1.  The thinner you can slice your cucumbers and onions, the more effective the salting will be, so do your best (of course you can also use your food processor or mandolin to do this job as well).

2 good sized cucumbers

1/4 medium onion, peeled

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar (the Passover vinegar is not quite as tart as Heinz, you may need extra to strike the right balance with the sugar and salt)

2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill

Pepper to taste, optional

1.  Peel the cucumbers; slice in half lengthwise.  Using a teaspoon, scoop out and discard the seeds.


2.  Thinly slice the cucumber halves and the onion (you should have 3 cups cucumber slices and 1/3 cup sliced onion).  Place the vegetables in a medium bowl and add the salt;  toss until combined.


Place a small or bowl plate over the cucumbers and top with a heavy object (a full wine bottle or a pitcher filled with water, etc).


Let stand 1 hour until cucumbers are wilted and have given off a significant amount of water.


3.  Remove the weight and plate and place the salad in a large strainer.  Rinse under cold water until most of the salt has been washed away.


Rinse the bowl and return the salad to it.  In a measuring cup, combine the water, vinegar, and sugar.  Stir until sugar has dissolved.  Pour dressing over cucumber salad, add the dill and toss to combine.


Makes:   2 cups salad     Serves: 4




  1. (Squeezing out the liquid is not big deal if you layer the sliced cukes and salt in a colander. A lot of the liquid just drips out on it’s own with the weight on top. They don’t need a lot of additional squeezing.)

    My aunt used to add a tsp of dry mustard powder to the sauce.

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