Prep 10 mins
Cook 0 mins
I've been reading an intriguing book lately titled "Culinaria Hungary", published in 1999 & authored by Aniko Gergely. It is much more a history of regional Hungarian cuisine & ingredients native to the regions than it is a cookbook, but does feature a few recipes considered part of classic & modern Hungarian cooking. 1 of the most startling & also the smallest recipe was a dressing for cucumber salad. This recipe is for the dressing, but I added 2 notes below the prep to describe how the dressing is used to make 2 types of the salad. *Enjoy* (Time does not include the soaking time or refrigeration time)
- Combine ingredients thoroughly & chill for 2 hrs to allow flavors to blend.
- Note #1: Using unpeeled thick cucumbers, slice them & soak in salted water for 30 minutes. Drain well & pour the dressing over the cucumbers. Lightly dust the surface of the salad w/paprika & add a dollop of sour cream over the paprika.
- Note #2: If a more intense flavor is desired, add garlic & finely sliced onion to the salted water for the soaking time. Drain well & finish salad as above. :-).
Nice salad. Everything in Hungarian cooking is supposed to be used though, even the water that is extracted from the cukes. For purists, put the salt on the cukes, and use the liquid from the cukes to thin the vinegar. That's why it sits for 2 hours, but during that time, you stir occasionally to be sure the liquid and vinegar are mixing and the flavors mix evenly. So purists wouldn't add extra plain water because it dilutes the flavor. It is also possible to add finely chopped fresh dill to this and any other cucumber dishes of Hungarian origin. At least one tablespoon of fresh dill would be used (use a generous amount).
Simple and refreshing. Most of the family ate it plain, while DH added the paprika and sour cream suggested in the recipe and loved it. Some people will prefer less vinegar or a bit more sweetness.
Being of Hungarian ancestory, I ate lots of cucumber salads as a child. Recently, I visited Hungary and loved the simple cucumber salads they served with just vinegar, sugar and salt for flavoring. Returning home, I wanted to find a recipe that produced the same salads. This recipe comes closest. The salad and dressing are very easy to make and the result had that authentic taste I sought. Excellent recipe.