Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Kurkkusalaatti - Cucumber Salad

Is everyone "detoxing" today from all their Christmas feasts? We had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with some Finnish favorites, and also some non-Scandinavian treats too.

One of the things that I made for our Christmas Eve buffet was Kurkkusalaatti or Cucumber Salad. This was a recipe from Beatrice Ojakangas "The Finnish Cookbook" and was highly recommended by my family friend's daughter, Lisa. We decided that it would be a nice refreshing counterpoint to the Swedish meatballs, smoked salmon, and Italian antipasti. And so it was!

As a side note, since it is the middle of winter in New England, it is difficult to find fresh dill. However, I think that the fresh herb would have made the salad even better.

Kurkkusalaatti - Cucumber Salad
Serves about six. Make this salad two hours before you plan to serve it to allow the flavors to blend.

4 medium cucmbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh or dried dill
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons salad oil

Toss the cucumber slices with the dill. Arrange the cucumber in a chilled glass bowl. Mix the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and salad oil and pour over the cucumber slices. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.


rrrandy said...

My mother and grandmother made kurkkusalaatti (cucumber salad) with sour cream added, in addition to the other ingredients. I typically leave out the oil if I use sour cream. Greek style yogurt works well too!

rrrandy said...

Whenever I have seen this salad made by Finnish immigrants, the cucumbers are NOT peeled, but the skin is scored lengthwise with a fork, and then the cukes are sliced very thinly, about 1/8" thick. If you leave the skin on, you can't use waxed cucumbers, but the English cucumbers or baby cucumbers work well. If the cucumber has large seeds, I will use a spoon to scoop them out before slicing.

Also, if you like crispier cukes, mix the sliced cukes with the salt, and then let stand in a colander for a couple hours, for them to 'weep'. Then, rinse off the salt, wrap them in a tea towel, and twist it to wring out the excess moisture. Then prepare the salad as usual.