German gastronomy is quite unknown in our country, in general terms and beyond the knuckle with sauerkraut. However, it has dishes as interesting as this very simple and refreshing cucumber salad. Despite lacking the variety of products that the Mediterranean has, it makes excellent use of some of its most common ingredients, such as its magnificent dairy products and some vegetables. We have just passed the season of fresh white asparagus, which is revered in almost all of Germany to the point that it is sold in stalls dedicated to it and many shops even have equipment to peel it and take it away ready to cook at home.
But I’m digressing from the point: Cucumber is much appreciated further north of the Alps in general, fresh, pickled or fermented. This fresh salad is a good example of the use of the seasonal product with the sour cream, an acidified cream that is denser and with more flavor than the bland liquid cream. There would be much to talk about creams or acidified creams, which have particular characteristics in each country in which they are traditional; in our country is creme fraiche French-style, which we can use perfectly to prepare this creamy salad, and also sour creams in Latin American stores -in Mexican cuisine it is also used- or in stores with products from Eastern Europe. Oh, and if you want to make sour cream at home it’s also possible, it’s almost as easy as making yogurt, here’s how.
Cucumbers are a vegetable with a high water content, which have a bad habit of exuding when we add salt, so you can end up with cucumber soup instead of salad as soon as you are not careful. Haven’t you seen how runny the dressing on an American coleslaw can be? It is for that very reason. To remedy this, it is advisable to previously salt the already cut cucumber and let it drain in a colander, to eliminate part of that water that we do not want to appear in our dressing (this process is known as osmosis). The Germans say that for this salad to be tasty you have to cut the cucumber very thin, almost transparent; With care and a sharp knife, the task can be successfully completed, although if you have a mandolin it will be easier.
The one to cut the cucumber very finite.
for 4 people
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 120ml sour cream
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- ½ tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Wash the cucumbers and leave the skin. Cut into very thin slices, as thin as possible, with a knife or mandolin.
Go placing them in layers in a colander or vegetable drainer, lightly salting each layer of cucumber slices, until finished. Let stand one hour to exude water.
Prepare the dressing by mixing the cream with the vinegar, sugar, salt and chopped fresh dill.
Transfer the macerated cucumber to a salad bowl and add the dressing; Mix. Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least four hours for the flavors to meld. Finish off with freshly ground pepper.
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