Marinated Cucumber Salad

Quebecers are big cucumber consumers, whether the cuke is fresh or pickled. Julian Armstrong, food editor of the Montreal Gazette, considers this salad perfect picnic food because it's made a day ahead, chilled, and can be transported in a wide jar or plastic container to the picnic, then drained slightly and tipped out on to the lettuce of your choice. Colorful, thanks to slices of red onion, it may be made with the long, English ("seedless") cucumbers, now available from greenhouses, or regular cucumbers. Armstrong adapted the recipe from Mollie Katzen's cookbook The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. It's particularly popular with the calorie-conscious as it's fat-free.

2 long English cucumbers, finely sliced
1 t. (5 mL) salt
Freshly-ground pepper
1 t. (5 mL) freshly-chopped dill
1/2 C. (125 mL) paper-thin slices of red onion
1 C. (250 mL) red-wine vinegar
4 t. (20 mL) honey
Fresh lettuce leaves
Sliced radishes (optional)

Place sliced cucumbers in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, pepper and dill, mixing well. Mix in onion slices. Heat vinegar in a small saucepan just until hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and add honey, stirring until it dissolves. Let cool to lukewarm. Pour over cucumber mixture, cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to a jar or plastic container with tight-fitting lid. Serve on lettuce, trimmed, if desired, with radishes and more fresh dill.

Eight to 10 servings.


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