German Cucumber-Dill Salad (Gurkensalat)

Cucumber salad with vinegar-oil dressing and dill
Rene Nüsser / Getty Images
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
41 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 41
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 55mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This German cucumber-dill salad, called gurkensalat, with its winning combination of vinegar and sugar in the dressing, makes a refreshing summer salad that goes well with many types of meat, especially pork. They also make a flavorful addition to a chicken salad or tuna salad sandwich.

You can leave out the dill and/or red onion and still get a delicious salad. A similar salad from Thailand uses rice vinegar and adds a spicy component with the addition of chilies while a Greek version adds oregano instead of dill and a salty hit from feta cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 seedless English cucumber (long and skinny, slightly bumpy), or 2 Persian cucumbers
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1 small red onion (thinly sliced and broken into rings)
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Rinse and dry the cucumber(s). With unwaxed, seedless cucumbers, you can leave part or all of the skin on in strips, which looks attractive when you cut it and actually helps hold the slices together. All other varieties should be peeled and seeded first.

  3. Using a mandoline, a food processor with the thin slicer attachment, or the slicer opening on a cheese grater, thinly slice the cucumber(s). They should be almost see-through. Set aside.

  4. Make the dressing by placing the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a serving bowl and whisking it until the sugar completely dissolves.

  5. Add the sliced cucumber, red onion rings, and chopped dill, if desired, and toss well. Marinate for 5 or more minutes and serve.

Tips

  • Look for seedless English cucumbers, sometimes called simply "hothouse cucumbers," or Persian cucumbers for the best flavor and texture. Avoid standard grocery store cukes if possible; they tend to be seedy and watery and turn mushy when you marinate them.
  • Leftovers store in the refrigerator for a couple of days, but after a prolonged time in the marinade, the cucumbers will start to break down.

What to Serve With Gurkensalat

Just like applesauce, cucumbers in dill just seem to naturally go with roasted pork. Here are some suggestions:

  • Braised Pork and Cabbage RecipeThis variation of a traditional German pig knuckle dish is made with pork belly braised on a bed of chopped cabbage.

  • Boneless Mustard Pork Chops RecipeThis easy recipe is perfect for a busy day. It cooks up fast with a minimum amount of labor and tastes like you slaved all day.

  • Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe: In this treatment, a pork loin is butterflied and stuffed, and then grilled over indirect, medium heat to let the inside cook before the outside gets burned and dried out. 

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